Dijon Cognac Beef Stew

We’ve been in stir fry and salad city in an attempt to lose weight over here, so not a ton of new recipes to post. I made a new spin on salmon salad, but I’m not sure I really liked it enough to chronicle. Here’s the recipe in a nutshell: Seared salmon, spinach, mustardy dressing, cucumbers, dried cherries, cheddar, leftover asparagus and zucchini. It was a little weird.

But it was John Stew Night yesterday, and he made this nice recipe from Smitten Kitchen, with minor changes. We liked it – very mustardy. Sorry no photo (yes, I’ve been slacking lately on photos) – we ended up having friends over for dinner who were dropping off their dog for dogsitting, so I got distracted.

1/4 pound  bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced

3 shallots, chopped

4 tablespoons butter, as needed

2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Cognac

2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup smooth Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons coarse Dijon 

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices (John used baby carrots)

1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered

1/4 cup red wine 

Place bacon in a Dutch oven over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove and save for another use (we used in a salad). Raise heat to medium-low, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

If needed, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan for additional fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, deglazing pan. Add stock, smooth Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon coarse mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, cover pan partway, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

Add carrots, and continue simmering for 40 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender. Add wine and deglaze pan and simmer a couple minutes. Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning.

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