Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuscan Beef Stew with Polenta

Tuscan Beef Stew with Polenta
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Epicurious~

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, cut into medium dice
1 leek, white and light green part only, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 pounds stew beef, such as boneless chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 quart whole tomatoes, drained (save juice for another purpose, another day)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)

In a heavy, large saucepan over moderately high heat, heat oil, then add onion, leek, garlic, carrot, and celery, sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and light golden brown in color, about 10 minutes.  Add beef and sauté, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Add wine and thyme, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, then lower the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 2 hours.

Fifteen minutes before stew is finished, make polenta
Pour olive oil into a large serving bowl and swirl to coat.  Set aside.

In a heavy, large pot over moderately high heat, bring stock to boil.  Lower heat to moderate and slowly add polenta, stirring constantly, until polenta thickens and pulls away from sides of pan, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to the oil-coated serving bowl and keep warm until ready to eat.

When beef is tender, transfer stew to a large serving bowl.  Serve polenta alongside.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Stews