Red Wine-Braised Beef with Peppercorn Cream Sauce

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 lbs Chuck Stew Meat
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Sauce Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon black peppercorn, coarsely chopped (I put them in a plastic bag & lightly crack them with a meat mallet)
1-2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1-2 tablespoons “Better than Bouillon” (Beef base)

Directions:

On a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over high heat until very hot.

Season beef, transfer to dutch oven and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and set aside. Add onion, celery, dried thyme, dried basil, & carrots to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft & beginning to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add red wine and stir well to loosen up any bits from bottom of pan. Add beef stock and stir well to combine.

Return stew meat to pot and bring to a boil. Cover dutch oven and transfer to 300 degree oven. Let it bake for 1 1/2 hours, then check for tenderness. Take our Dutch oven and let sit covered for 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, make the cream sauce.

Sauce Directions:

Bring cream, black pepper & bouillon to a rapid boil. Reduce by half. Add grainy mustard. Season to taste if necessary.

To Serve:

Best with basil mashed potatoes. But also great with rice or buttered noodles.

Ladle beef sauce over your choice from above and drizzle with black peppercorn sauce.

Enjoy with a bottle of your favorite Schmidt full bodied red wine.  Our choice? Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah