Crushed black peppercorns add a spicy touch to this make-ahead winter stew. Lots of garlic (it sweetens and turns mild as it cooks), onions, carrots and celery simmer along with the beef and are then pureed to thicken the gravy. Make this peppery stew the day before, then add more carrots and celery, attractively cut on the diagonal just before serving.
- Portion size 6 servings
- 1 1/2 lb lean stewing beef preferably chunk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 stalk celery sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cups canned tomatoes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 3/4 cups dry red wine
- 3/4 cups dry beef stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed black peppercorn
- celery leaf (optional)
- fresh parsley (optional)
- 6 small carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 oz snow peas (optional)
Cut beef into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Pour flour into sturdy paper bag, shake beef, in batches, to coat lightly and evenly. Shake off excess flour.
In large heavy saucepan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil over high heat; add beef and brown, in batches. With slotted spoon remove meat and set aside. Pour remaining oil into pan; stir in garlic, sliced carrots and celery, and onion. Saute over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until slightly softened.
Return meat to pan along with tomatoes, beef stock, wine, salt and pepper. Stir well, scraping up brown bits. Cover partially and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. (For a more peppery peposo, add more crushed peppercorns.)
With tongs, transfer beef cubes to sieve placed over bowl. In blender or food processor fitted with metal blade, puree vegetables and their cooking liquid plus any juices from bowl. Return beef and puree to saucepan; mix well. (Recipe can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for 1 day.)
Vegetables Peel carrots; celery, and snow peas (if using) Slice diagonally 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Add carrots and celery to hot peposo; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. About 3 minutes before serving add snow peas (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning.
Garnish Top with celery leaves (if using).