Braised Beef (or Venison) + Mushrooms + Wine + Veggies

All of those pluses add up to deliciousness, in case you were wondering about that.  It’s a very scientific formula.

No really.

This was one of my favorite new recipes that we’ve tried lately.  Could it be because Scott made it for me?  Possibly.  Could it be because it made our freshly gained venision taste like expensive, fancy pants beef?  Very possibly.  Could it be because I think that adding wine to sauce is almost always a great idea?  Definitely.

Braised Beef with Red Wine and Mushrooms

edited slightly from the Cooking Light original

photo by Randy Mayor and Jan Gautro

photo by Randy Mayor and Jan Gautro

Ingredients

1 cup boiling water
1 1/4 pounds lean beef stew meat (or venison), cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pearl onions (about 16) or 1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch) slices carrot (about 2 large)
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine, Merlot recommended
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preparation

Chop mushrooms; set aside.

Sprinkle beef (or venison) with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of meat to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove meat from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining meat.

Add onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cremini mushrooms and carrot; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add beef, porcini mushrooms, porcini liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, broth, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Uncover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid thickens. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

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