Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew

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After trying many recipes of beef stew, it became clear, the quality of the beef matters greatly.  To achieve that tender cut-with-your-fork quality the beef must have that perfect ratio of fat to meat.  Many of the cuts sold as stew beef are far too lean and no matter how long you cook they will never get tender.  This beef stew showcases beautifully marbled boneless short ribs – The perfect choice.

Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew

Serves 4-6

¼ pound salt pork, remove the rind (skin) diced

4 large shallots, peeled and chopped

2 to 4 tablespoons of butter, as needed

2 tablespoons potato starch seasoned with pepper

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, each rib cut into 4 pieces

½ cup cognac

2 cups water

¼ cup red wine

½ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Pommery mustard (whole grain)

3 large carrots peeled and cut into circle slices

1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Sour cream and chopped flat leaf parsley for serving

  • Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium high heat, then add the salt pork and cook until the fat is rendered and it is golden brown.
  • Add the shallots and sauté until they are soft  but not brown, take out of the pan and set aside in a large bowl
  • In a rimmed plate, put the potato starch and pepper (hold the salt, the salt pork and mustard are salty enough) and dust the short ribs, shaking off the excess
  • Add some of the butter to the pan and brown the beef well in two batches if necessary  transferring them to the bowl with the onions
  • Add  the cognac to the empty pan to deglaze and scrape all of the browned bits from the bottom
  • Add the red wine, water and  both mustards and bring to a boil
  • Add the beef and onions back to the pan and cover pan partway and simmer on low for about

1 ½ hours or until the meat is very tender

  • Sauté the mushrooms in some of the remaining butter until golden brown and set aside
  • In a sauce pan add the carrots,  and about ¼” inch of water and bring to a simmer and cover.  Stirring occasionally and cook until the carrots are just tender – about 5 minutes.  Drain any water that is left in the pan
  • When the stew is done fold in the carrots and mushrooms
  • Serve with sour cream and chopped parsley
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