Ok, so here’s the deal. The small town I live in has no respectable dinning establishments and I can’t afford to drive into KC every time I need a taste of civilized food. This forces me to get creative in the kitchen! Years ago while living in Wisconsin, my local library was selling old books…really cheap. I found this nicely bound copy of Antoine Gilly’s 1971 issue of “Feast of France”. This was back in the mid-1990s and I’ve never used the book until moving here to the hinterlands of west-central Missouri. Over the last couple of years I’ve experimented with Gilly’s recipes, modifying them to my taste and to what foods are available locally. After posting some comments about the success of this dish on Facebook, my friend Bob (my former Army squad leader down in Panama) inquired about the recipe. So Bob, and any one else who might enjoy something different, here’s what I cooked up this afternoon. Enjoy!
|1lb beef stew meat
2-3 carrots, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, white part sliced
1½ stalks of celery, chopped
¾ bottle red wine (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or burgundy)
½ cup of vegetable or chicken stock
6 portabella mushrooms, thick sliced
|Herbs de Provence, 1-2 pinches
Salt and pepper, coarse
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
fresh ground nutmeg (good sized pinch)
ground glove, dash or two
1-2 bay leaves
heavy whipping cream
Serving for 2-3, proportionally increase for more
In a non-stick skillet, pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium/high heat. Lightly dredge beef cubes in flour, salt and pepper and sauté in skillet until browned on all sides. When finished, place browned beef in crock-pot. Add remaining ingredients. Withhold heavy whipping cream until end.
Cook all ingredients in crock-pot on high for 4-5 hours. Beef should be tender. Transfer contents of crock-pot to large pot on stove and bring to a good boil. Meanwhile, combine about ¾ cup of warm water with 2-3 tablespoons of flour, whip until smooth. Gradually add to boiling stew to thicken. Reduce heat to simmer. Add 2-3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Skim any fat off top. Serve with warm, hearty rustic bread of choice. Bon appétit!