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Braised Beef, Mushrooms and Pearl Onions over Polenta
Pairs with Hahn Cabernet Sauvignon and Boneshaker Zinfandel
INGREDIENTS - BRAISED BEEF
- 1.5 pounds stew meat, or beef chuck, cut into 2 inch thick pieces
- 1 package pearl onion (or 1 lg. onion, diced)
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, whole or halved
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- 1 tablespoon demi-glace concentrate (optional)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 thyme sprigs
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley for garnish
INGREDIENTS - POLENTA
- 1 cup polenta
- 5 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup parmesan
Prepare ingredients. Salt and pepper meat. The easiest way to clean pearl onions is to drop them into boiling water for a minute or so then rinse under cold water and peel.
In a medium to large dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides, working in batches and not overcrowding the pot. Set meat aside. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots to the pan and more oil as needed. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook a few more minutes. Return the meat to pan and add the flour and wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping any bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat slightly and add demi-glace, herbs, stock, and 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot and cook on the stove for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours. Check after 1 1/2 hours, stir and test meat, it should fall apart easily. Continue to cook until meat is tender. Taste sauce and adjust if needed.
Bring the water to a boil and add salt and slowly whisk in polenta, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally until done. Remove from heat. Add butter and parmesan to taste, adjust if needed with more salt.