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This is our version of the stew used as the filling for Ravioli Niçoise, but it’s equally good with polenta or noodles.

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2″ pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf and 1 sprig each flat-leaf parsley and thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen string)
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place mushrooms in a bowl, pour in boiling water to cover, and set aside. Place meat in a medium bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in batches, leaving plenty of space between pieces so that they brown evenly. Transfer meat as it browns to a large dish; set aside.
  3. Lower heat to medium-low and pour off all but a bit of the oil and butter. Add onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, and celery and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pot until vegetables are coated with oil, about 5 minutes.
  4. Return meat to pot and add bouquet garni. Mix flour and 1 cup of the wine with a fork in a small bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Stir into pot with remaining 1 cup wine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
  5. Drain, rinse, and roughly chop mushrooms, reserving liquor. Strain mushroom liquor through a coffee filter; add to pot with mushrooms. Simmer another hour. Remove bouquet garni, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

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