When the weather cools, and I see football on television, I think of two things; hey, look at the size of that guy's neck, and, this is a great time of year to make stew. This video recipe for Beef Merlot is one of my favorites, and a take-off on the venerable Beef Bourguignon, beef braised in Burgundy wine.
Whenever I see wine on sale it always seems to be Merlot. It's usually stacked at the end of the aisle, a tall pyramid of bargain booze. Why Merlot? Is it easier to grow? Have sales gone down because of what that guy said in the movie Sideways? Who knows, but it's usually good quality, and makes a great cooking wine for this stew recipe.
The other trick in this video is putting the stew on top of mashed potatoes, instead of cooking them in the sauce. As I say in the clip, I hate to see little chunks of broken potatoes in this stunningly beautiful sauce. Besides, what's better than mashed potatoes and gravy? And, as far as gravies go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Enjoy!
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut in 2-inch cubes
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
4 springs fresh thyme
2 cups merlot, or other red wine
2 cups beef broth