Time for stews. Tradition says beef and red wine go together; I say it’s a ridiculous rule. You can cook beef in white wine to make a delicious stew. And this is the proof.
But why is it exactly a time for stews? It normally doesn’t get this cold until late in November. But, for the past several weeks, it’s been raining almost every day. The environmentalists are busily screaming that the strange weather is part of a global pattern. I can’t say right or wrong to that — I only know that I’m not complaining about the cooler days and the chilly nights.
Most mornings, the fog is thick. Well, maybe smog for those who live in the city but here in the suburb, we still get real fog. And, depending, on your mindset, fog at dawn can be either truly romantic or downright creepy. I take the romantic route. And when I feel that way, I get inspired. Early yesterday morning, I cooked two stews. This is the first.
Recipe: Beef and spinach stew
- 450 g. of stewing beef (I used short ribs)
- 4 tbsps. of flour
- 4 tbsps. of butter
- 4 tbsps. of olive oil
- 3/4 c. of chopped onion
- 2 generous pinches of dried tarragon
- about 1/2 c. of good white wine (any you’d care to drink)
- 2 c. of broth, preferably homemade
- 1 tbsp. of flour dissolved in 4 tbsps. of broth
- spinach, as much as you like
- Cut the beef into two-inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with the 4 tbsps. of flour.
- In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Brown the beef cubes in batches (read why). Transfer to a plate as they brown.
- In the remaining oil, gently cook the chopped onion and tarragon for about a minute or until the onion pieces start to soften. Remember to scrape whatever browned bits are stuck at the bottom of the pot.
- Add the browned meat.
- Pour in the white wine. Allow to boil, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to almost nothing.
- Pour in the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about two hours or until the beef is tender.
- Stir in the flour solution until the sauce thickens. Simmer for another 10 minutes to cook the flour.
- Add the spinach. Stir. Cook just until the leaves are wilted.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 2 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2