- 3 pounds beef or pork, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 6 ounces bacon (7-8 strips)
- 2 medium-sized onions,
- 2 carrots
- 2 pounds small potatoes, cut into half-dollar size pieces if too large
- One bottle red wine (750 ml, slightly more than three cups)
- 2-3 cups beef broth (real, canned or from bullion)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 pound mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 450 F
- Cut the bacon into small squares.
- Dry the pork or beef cubes with paper towels. The drier the meat, the easier browning will be.
- In a fireproof casserole dish or a 2- to 3-inch deep pan over medium heat, sauté the bacon until brown, 2-3 minutes, with a little oil. Remove to a side dish.
- If desired, lightly salt the cubed and dried meat to aid in the browning process.
- Increase temperature, in the pan used to cook the bacon, to high, just before the fat begins to smoke.
- Brown the cubed meat on all sides. Do this a few pieces at a time. Once one batch is browned, removed to the side dish with the bacon.
- Brown the sliced onions and carrots in the same fat. Add more cooking oil as necessary.
- While the onions brown, pour the wine and the beef stock/bullion into the slow cooker’s crock. Mix in the tomato paste and the garlic. Once the onions are browned, add them to the crock.
- If potatoes are smaller than half dollars, add to the crock. If larger, cut into halves or quarters and add to the crock.
- Put the meat into the casserole or oven-safe pan, such as a cast-iron skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on the meat and lightly toss to coat. Put into the oven for 4 minutes. Take out the dish out of the oven, toss lightly again and put it back in the oven for 4 more minutes.
- Take the meat out of the oven, pour into the crock and set the crock on low for eight hours, or overnight, or high for four to five hours.
- Sauté the mushrooms in butter and when done, add to the crock.
- Once the stew is done cooking, serve by itself or with noodles, rice or more potatoes. Or, wait until the next day, as the flavors deepen overnight.
(Recipe adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.)