Disclaimer - this isn't your mom or your dad's beef stew.
This stew is just too darn good and totally worth the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears. I made this last night and we didn't eat until almost 8:15 PM. Although everyone was groaning and starting to look emaciated. Groaning turned into looks of enternal love and devotion for the cook.
Beef Stew -
Cut up a 2 to 3 lb. chuck roast or pot roast into 2 inch cubes and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat a large heavy pot Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tablepsoons of butter.
While the pan is heating, place about 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Dredge the cubed meat through the flour and shake off the excess. Place the meat into the heated oil/butter and brown on all sides, be careful not to over crowd the pan. You will have to brown the meat in batches. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and set aside.
Add one bottle of red wine, preferably burgundy to the pot and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon. Make saure you scrape up all those tasty bits. Once the wine is heated through, add the browned meat, 8 sprigs of fresh tyme, 6 cloves of smashed garlic, 3 wide peels from an orange, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, 2 bay leaves and 2-1/2 cups of beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquid starts to thicken just a little, about 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, add 5 medium sized red potatoes quartered or 8 small new potatoes halved, 3 peeled and sliced carrots, 1/2 lb. frozen pearl onion/green pea melody and a pinch of sugar to reduce the acidity of the wine.
Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 more minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
Cook 2 cups of white rice.
Spoon a serving of rice in a bowl and ladle stew over rice. Garnish with a slight drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly chopped flat leaf parsley and a dollop of Horseradish Cream Sauce. Serve some crunchly, garlicy bread on the side.
Horseradish Cream Sauce -
Whisk together 1 cup of reduced fat sour cream, 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, salt and pepper to tasted and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Garnish dollop with chopped chives.