We almost insist you make this beef stew a day ahead and just reheat when ready to serve. The rich flavors meld together and only get better with time. One key to success: Be sure to brown the beef well. Do this in batches in a very hot pan—this creates an intense layer of flavor that will permeate the dish.
Oxmoor House JUNE 2007
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top freezer bag. Add beef, and seal bag; refrigerate overnight. Drain meat and aromatics, reserving liquid. Pat meat dry with paper towels.
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, and set aside; reserve drippings in pan.
Add meat to Dutch oven in 3 batches, and cook without crowding meat 10 to 15 minutes per batch or until well browned; set aside. Pour off any remaining bacon drippings; return browned meat and reserved marinade to Dutch oven, and add 2 cups broth. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 2 hours and 45 minutes or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook 12 to 15 minutes or until browned, stirring after 10 minutes. Set mushrooms aside. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet; add onions, carrots, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots to meat in Dutch oven. Stir in 1 tsp. salt. Continue simmering stew 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Combine cornstarch and water; stir into stew, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bacon and parsley before serving.
Note: You can prepare the beef stew, cool it completely, and keep it refrigerated up to 3 days.
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