David Ansel makes this stew with venison and venison stock, but it's equally delicious prepared with beef chuck. The meat is slowly braised in Madeira to bring out its rich flavor, then it's combined with beef-based broth and nutty, slightly crunchy wild rice.
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3 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck in 1 piece
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
10 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
3/4 cup Madeira
1/2 pound wild rice (1 1/4 cups)
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large, heavy ovenproof saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the beef to a plate and wipe out the saucepan. Add 2 cups of the beef stock and the Madeira to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the saucepan, cover and braise in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning occasionally, until tender.
Heat a large enameled cast-iron casserole or soup pot over high heat. Add the wild rice and cook, stirring, until it begins to pop, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 8 cups of stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 50 minutes.
Remove the meat from the braising liquid and let cool slightly, then shred it. Add the shredded meat and its braising liquid to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the stew for 5 minutes, then ladle into bowls and serve.
The beef stew can be refrigerated for 2 days.
California produces superb Syrahs, fruit-driven wines with a spicy, rustic edge that make a nice match for this version of a hunter's stew.
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