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Beef Stew with Red Currant Jelly and Cream
© Frances Janisch

Beef Stew with Red Currant Jelly and Cream

  • ACTIVE: 35 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 35 MIN plus overnight marinating
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD

In classic French cuisine, when the sauce for wine-braised boar or venison is flavored with red currant jelly and cream, the dish is called grand veneur. Beef and pork are delicious prepared in grand veneur style too.

  1. 4 pounds well-trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  3. 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  4. 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  5. 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons juniper berries
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  10. 1/4 cup peanut oil
  11. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  12. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  13. 1/4 cup tomato paste
  14. 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  15. 3/4 cup red currant jelly
  16. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  17. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  18. Spaetzle with Gruyère and Caramelized Onions
  1. In a large bowl, toss the beef with the celery, carrots, onions, wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, rosemary and thyme. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring a few times.
  2. Drain the meat and vegetables in a colander set over a bowl. Pick out the juniper berries and discard them; reserve the marinade. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the meat and vegetables and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook until lightly browned all over, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the meat and vegetables.
  3. Return the meat and vegetables to the casserole. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the casserole. Add the reserved marinade and the tomato paste and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the currant jelly, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Drain the stew in a colander set over a bowl. Transfer the pieces of meat to a platter. Press on the solids in the colander to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour the liquid back into the casserole and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly over moderate heat, stirring. Ladle the stew into large shallow bowls. Drizzle the warm jelly over the stew and serve with the spaetzle.

Suggested Pairing

A lush, concentrated Syrah from California will stand up to the beef.

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