Jacques Pépin's beef stew in red wine sauce

As a child I remember watching Vermont PBS on Saturday mornings and salivating over Jacques Pépin and Lidia Bastianich’s cooking. Yes, even at a young age I preferred to watch cooking shows over cartoons. A couple of years ago I had the good fortune of getting tickets to see Lidia cook in Montreal. I did not get to meet her in person but I swear I thought I was going to pass out from the excitement of being in the same building as her.

I love Jacques Pépin and at some point in my younger years I am pretty sure I convinced myself he was family. I loved the way he cooked and the way he talked and the way he made everything seem so easy and delicious. Many years ago I bought one of his cookbooks, Chez Jacques. I always admired the book, sifted through it but somehow never cooked from it. A few weeks ago I decided to give it a try. I couldn’t consider making many of the recipes simply because they involved shellfish and my better half is deathly allergic but I found the following recipe which was absolutely divine. Beef stew in red wine sauce…oh mon Dieu!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2lbs of beef**I used stewing beef cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 3 cups of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 12-15 cipollini or pearl onions, washed and peeled
  • 12-15 small cremini mushrooms, cleaned
  • 12-15 baby carrots, washed and peeled
  • **I added approximately 10 colorful grelots potatoes
  • Recipe calls for lardons which I tried and did not like …would substitute with grilled thick sliced bacon next time – for a bit more flavour

 INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a cast iron pan, melt one tbsp. each of butter & oil
  • Brown the beef cubes for approximately 8-10 minutes, season with salt & pepper and add the onion & the garlic
  • Add a tbsp of flour and mix well
  • Pour in the wine and add 2 bay leaves and fresh thyme
  • Bring to a boil, stir well, cover and pop into the oven for an hour and a half
  • Half an hour before the stew is done add the remaining ingredients to the pot
  • Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and a glass of wine

Bon appetit!

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