I really would have followed the recipe this week if I had found humanely raised stewing veal. Wholefoods only had quality expensive cuts of veal that I wasn’t going to chop up and throw into a stew.
I bought beef since it is the mature version of veal. I think pork would also work well with this recipe. I really like the technique that Dorie uses in the original recipe in which you dust the meat with flour and then brown it.
This technique is terrific for getting the flavor of the meat into the sauce, and it is terrific for thickening it too. I have used this browning technique for some of Dorie’s Dutch oven stews. Truly, if you have the time and get the right meat, make the original recipe.
I took the pictures early in the afternoon. The stew did thicken by evening. I added corn starch which is gluten-free. (I have a wheat allergy.)
I find that you can cook potatoes in a crockpot if you cut them very small and put them on the bottom of the pan. It also helps if you can put the slow cooker up to high heat for an hour or more.
I never use a bouquet garni because I find it wasteful to throw away expensive (especially if they are fresh) herbs. Ingesting herbs has a lot of health benefits from reducing inflammation to lower cholesterol.
The stew had an earthy, comforting flavor. I can see why it is a French classic. My family loved it, but my daughter said she is getting tired of stews and soups. I would agree.. with the weather warming up, yes we are above freezing this week during the day, it is time to transition into some lighter Spring fare.
- 2 pounds of beef stew meat pre-cut 2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of white wine
- 4 large potatoes, peeled, and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 8 ounce bag of frozen pearl onions
- 8 ounces of baby cremini mushrooms, stems removed, crumbled
- 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley