Mushroom stew, my little boy’s goal after a long foray in the woods near our home, seemed a lost cause after our first outing when we ended up with a only handful of porcini, slippery jacks and chanterelles – just enough for a wild mushroom butter, but not much else.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp clarified butter or beef tallow
  • 4 ounces bacon , (chopped fine)
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 6 shallots peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 large leek (white parts only, sliced thinly)
  • 5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 stalks celery(chopped)
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes (kept whole if small, chopped if large)
  • 2 pounds mixed mushroomsshiitake, button, cremini, chanterelle, porcini etc , (cleaned and chopped)
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 quarts homemade beef stock
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley (trimmed and chopped)
  • unrefined sea salt and black pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a tablespoon clarified butter or beef tallow in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot over a medium-high flame until it melts.
  • Render four ounces chopped bacon in the hot fat until it crisps, then remove from the pan and add one pound beef stew meat, browning on all sides, about three or four minutes.
  • Remove the browned meat from the pot, adding chopped shallots and sliced leek Fry the leek and shallots in the hot fat until they release their fragrance and begin to caramelize a bit around the edges.
  • Toss chopped carrots, celery and mushrooms into the pot with two bay leafs and the leaves of one bunch fresh thyme. Fry for two to three minutes, before deglazing the pot with 2 cups dry red wine and 3 quarts homemade beef stock.
  • Add browned beef back into the pot along with one pound small fingerling potatoes.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the mushroom stew slowly for about an hour and a half to two hours until potatoes and meat are tender.
  • Remove the stew from the heat, stir in crisp bacon and chopped parsley. Season to taste with unrefined sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper as it suits you.

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