This months' challenge on Weekend Cookbook Challenge is winter comfort food. I think a perfect winter comfort food is beef stew. When I was little my mom would make beef stew almost every week of winter in her crock pot. This is much fancier than the stew my mom would make. I got Anthony Bourdain's cookbook when it came out in September 2004. I've read it cover to cover, but until now never actually cooked out of it. God bless the WCC.
from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook
I took this picture to show you how truly gorgeous this book is. In addition to lots of wonderful sounding recipes (that I hope to soon try) the pictures are tremendous. Doesn't that make you hungry?
2 lb paleron of beef or "chicken steak" cut into 1 1/2" pieces
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 tb flour
1 cup red wine
6 carrots, cut into 1" pieces
1 garlic clove
1 bouquet garni
(I don't know what either Paleron or Chicken Steak is, we just used a nice quality steak)
Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven or heavy pan, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat in batches and sear on all sides until the meat is well browned. When all the meat has been browned and set aside, add the onions and cook, over medium high heat until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour, and cook for another 4 minutes. Then add the red wine, bring to the boil, and scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return the meat to the pan and add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni. Add enough water to cover by one third and two spoons of demi glace, if you have it (I added a bouillon cube). Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. When done, remove the bouquet garni and serve.
This was a real winner and I'll be making it again very soon. The meat was quite tender and the sauce was very rich and flavorful. I'm not usually one for things like bay leaves and bouquet garni, but you can sure taste the flavor they leave behind. But the best part? It tasted even better the next day.