This stew definitely has the umami things going on. I’m not usually one to cook a lot of hearty meat based meals, but with hungry boys telling me they are really craving some kind of dinner with meat, rice and gravy –- which sounds terrible, by the way –- I decided to give this stew a try. Definitely a weekend meal, this recipe takes a little more than 2 hours to prepare — start to finish. Though the active time preparing it is pretty manageable — great for those of us that don’t want to spend that entire time in the kitchen!
The hoisin sauce in the recipe adds a tasty sweetness to the sauce. If you’re not familiar, hoisin is sweet, slightly salty, thick and seriously yummy sauce. It’s sometimes referred to as Chinese barbecue sauce and is made from fermented soybeans, sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, chili pepper, and a variety of other spices. Be aware of its seriously high sugar content; in some cases sugar is actually the first ingredient listed, so read the label before choosing a brand!
This dish is inspired and adapted from an old recipe that was originally published in Bon Appétit magazine.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped (about 5-6 medium yellow onions)
1.2 kg stewing beef, preferably a combination of boneless beef round and beef chuck, trimmed and cubed (I used a combination of beef and veal)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry red wine (375 ml)
1/2 cup beef broth (125 ml)
1 x 400 g can organic diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano and thyme
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (120 ml)
2 bay leaves
4 carrots, peeled, cut diagonally
2 parsnips, peeled and cut diagonally
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Steamed rice, polenta or potatoes, for serving.
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; toss meat with flour mixture to coat evenly. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Shaking off the excess flour, add meat to pan and sauté until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. If needed, work in batches and set aside.
3. Add meat to the pot with the onions. Add 1 cup of red wine, beef broth, tomatoes with juices, dried herbs, hoisin sauce, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, parsnips and the remaining wine. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, increase heat to high; boil until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Can also be made 1 day ahead. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate.