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Comforting Classic Beef Stew

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INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup pure olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut may also be called chuck roast boneless)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle good quality dry red wine (recommended: Burgundy or Merlot)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced thick
2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in ½
Sugar
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef pieces in a single layer to the hot pan. Do this in batches so as not over crowd the pan. Be sure to brown all of the pieces on all sides and then remove them to a plate and set aside.

Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those delicious bits. Once the wine is hot, add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 hours add potatoes, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, as well as a pinch of sugar, which will balance the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with a piece of crusty bread.

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