Beef Ragout with White Wine and Morels
This ragout, a twist on a classic beef stew, is lightened with white wine and chicken stock. Dried morels add depth of flavor; if you prefer, other dried mushrooms — or fresh mushrooms — may be substituted. The ragout may be served alone or over pasta. Fresh fettuccine, cooked al dente, is the perfect accompaniment.
- Servings 6
- 43 grams (1.5 ounces) dried morels or other dried mushrooms*
- 1.3 kg (3 pounds) beef chuck, cut into 4 cm (1-inch) cubes
- 237 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 71 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil, or as needed
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) finely chopped garlic
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 946 ml (4 cups) rich chicken stock or broth
- 473 ml (2 cups) dry white wine
- 7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) Worcestershire sauce
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Tabasco or other hot sauce
- 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- About .45 kg (1 pound) fresh fettuccine or other pasta, cooked al dente (optional)
*Fresh mushrooms may be substituted or added. If using fresh mushrooms, add about 20 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the beef cubes with the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Toss until the cubes are well-coated and transfer them to a plate, discarding excess flour.
- In a large wide stock pot or flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the beef in batches, turning until well-browned, and transferring to a plate.
- When all of the meat is browned, add the butter, onions, and garlic to the pan. Stir until the onions begin to soften, 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot, red bell pepper, and celery; sauté for 1 more minute.
- Add the chicken stock, wine, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the mushrooms to the pot. Also add the soaking liquid, pouring carefully out of the bowl to avoid any particles that may be at the bottom of the bowl.
- Return the beef to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender, about 90 minutes.
- Remove and discard the sprig of thyme; adjust salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve over freshly cooked hot pasta.