2020 has not been the most upbeat, fresh faced, self cariest start to the New Year I had hoped for. It’s been downright unpredictable and at times a little scary. When I want to come down from the day I want to eat something comforting, warming and familiar. This Drunken Beef Stew recipe is the perfect antidote to an otherwise dreary day. That and Schitt’s Creek.
Braising the beef in both Jack Daniel’s and red wine makes the already hearty beef deeper, richer and even more tender. I’m not the most patient when it comes to low/slow cooking so I try to time cooking this stew on Sunday when I’m doing my laundry. I find waiting for the rinse cycle and folding clothes distracting enough to keep me from taking the stew out too soon.
You could pour the stew over polenta, grits or rice but it’s always good straight up in a bowl.
2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
½ cup diced bacon
½ cup dice yellow onion
¾ cup medium diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
½ cup Jack Daniel’s
2 cups red wine
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
3 Tbsp. butter
Drunken Beef Stew Recipe
Serves 4-6 people
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
1. On a cutting board, cut beef into 2 inch cubes. Season all sides of the beef with salt. Set aside.
2. Place diced bacon in Dutch oven and turn heat on to medium. Cook bacon until at least 2 tablespoons of fat has rendered off into the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside on a plate.
3. Turn heat up to medium high. In batches, add the beef to the pot. Brown each side of the beef for about 2-3 minutes each. You’re not cooking the meat through. You just want a nice sear on the outside of the beef. After each piece is browned, place the beef on a sheet pan and set aside.
4. Once all the beef has browned and is resting on the sheet pan, leave just about 3 tablespoons of oil in the pot. Turn heat down to medium and add the onions. Sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the flour to the pot and stir for about 4 minutes. Add the Jack Daniels and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the beef, bacon, herbs and red wine to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add another healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on the pot and place it into the oven. Cook at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
6. About an hour and a half into the cooking process, cook your mushrooms. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the beef in the pot and continue cooking until the beef is tender. Total cook time should be 2 to 2 ½ hours.
7. Serve beef stew in bowls as is or over rice.