This comes from Anthony Bourdain via the Washington Post and it makes for a very tasty and filling meal on a winter’s night. Making it right will take some slow cooking, a lot of stirring and adding small amounts of water, and then, finally, some settling, but it is worth it.
We made enough for 2 and, for that, we used: 1.5 lbs beef chuck (cut into 2″ cubes), x4 medium carrots (peeled and cut into 1″ pieces), x1 yellow onion (chopped), x1 red onion (chopped), x3 garlic cloves (peeled, crushed and chopped), 1 cup red wine (we used Pinot Noir, but Burgundy is even better), 2 Tbsp flour, 1 bouquet garni (we tied together 3-4 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme and parsley), 1-2 Tbsp demi glace (we found this in the soup section of the grocery store), olive oil, salt, pepper and water.
Place about 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Season the cube of beef with salt and pepper – we placed them in a medium bowl, added about 1/2 Tbs each of S&P and then combined well with a wooden spoon to cover all pieces well. Cooking in batches so they are placed far enough apart so they don’t steam but, rather, they brown, place the cubes of meat into the dutch oven, turning once to just brown both sides remove browned meat with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Repeat with further batches until all the meat is browned.
In the same butch oven add another 2 Tbsp of oil and then all of the chopped onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and just browning – about 10 mins. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir well to combine. Cook until thickened – about 3-5 minutes. Add the red wine and scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Once the wine starts to boil add the meat, carrots, garlic and the bouquet garni and combine well. Add 2 cups water and the demi-glace and stir well. Bring it back to a boil and then reduce the heat so that it is just simmering. Allow it to simmer over low heat for 2-2 1/2 hours stirring every 15-20 mins and adding another 2 1/2 – 3 cups of water 1/4 cup at a time over the course of cooking as the mixture reduces.
Once the stew is thick, the carrots are soft, the meat is tender and the onions have dissolved into a rich sauce, remove the bouquet garni and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. You can let the stew stand, covered in the pot, for a few hours if you want everything to settle – but heat it back up before serving.