Wetzel Beef Stew

“This is a great winter recipe, and fun to work on with children (in my case grandchildren). While it does take quite a bit of time to prepare, it can be done in stages a day or two in advance. However, vegetables should be added just before serving the stew. I have multiplied this recipe when serving to large gatherings, and have used venison instead of beef, garnering rave reviews. Finally, I often use vegetables from my garden that are not included in the recipe (turnips come to mind). Enjoy!”

-Hank Wetzel, AVV Founder & Family Partner

– Serves 4-6 –

Stew Base:
½ lb. thick sliced bacon, cut in squares
3 lb. chuck roast
(trimmed of fat and cut into 2” cubes)
1 large onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup AVV red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables:
½ bag frozen pearl onions
4 carrots, sliced
1 box frozen peas
½ lb. fresh sautéed mushroom slices

Sauce:
1 cup water
1 bouillon cube
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, mashed
5 whole cloves
10 peppercorns

Put ingredients for the sauce in a pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a large casserole pan that can go both on stove and in oven. When crisp, remove with slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 450˚. With paper towels, dry the chunks of beef and brown a few at a time in hot bacon grease, removing with slotted spoon. Pour out all but 1 Tbsp. of grease. Brown onion, scraping up bits at bottom of the pan. Return beef and bacon to pan and sprinkle with flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Put in the oven and bake uncovered for 8 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, pour in wine and add sauce. Stir and bring to simmer on stove.

Place back in the oven and bake at 275˚ for an additional 3 hours or until meat is very tender. (You can refrigerate or freeze to have later up to this point.) Remove from oven and place back on stove. Add carrots and let simmer until tender, then add rest of vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with French bread and a green salad.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Homestead Red Blend