While living in Denmark, Linda Tebben found exchanging recipes a way to get acquainted. One of the good cooks she met, Merete Corneliussen, shared this hearty beef stew - and became a good friend.
2 pounds fat-trimmed boned beef chuck
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 cups fat-skimmed beef broth
2/3 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
How to Make It
Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Place meat, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and 1/3 cup water in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to medium, and boil 20 minutes. Uncover and boil over high heat, stirring often, until juices evaporate and a dark brown film forms in pan, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add broth, 1/3 cup sherry, and almonds; stir to release brown film from pan. Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Add olives. Cover and simmer until beef is tender when pierced, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
If more than 1 cup liquid is in pan, boil, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 1 cup. Mix 1/3 cup sherry with cornstarch. Add to pan; stir until boiling. Pour into a bowl; sprinkle with parsley.