Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro
Recipe from Cooking Light

Add a teaspoon or two of ground dried porcini mushrooms along with the broth and red wine to give the dish an extra layer of mushroom flavor. Meaty, earthy-tasting mushrooms such as porcini or black trumpet are ideal. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl onions (about 16)
  • 6 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch) slices carrot (about 2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preparation

  1. Combine porcini mushrooms and 1 cup boiling water in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms; set aside.
  2. Sprinkle beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.
  3. Add onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cremini mushrooms and carrot; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add beef, porcini mushrooms, porcini liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, broth, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Uncover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid thickens. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  5. Wine note: Mushrooms and merlot are a natural match. An affordable California version like Buena Vista Carneros Merlot 2004 ($20) provides classic merlot flavors of plum and black cherry fruit along with a touch of earth and smoky oak that marries beautifully with mushrooms. The wine's rich flavor and firm tannins make it a perfect choice for flavorful beef, as well. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
Cynthia Nims,
October 2007