December Kosher Connection LinkUp: Fagiuoli all’Uccelletto with Beef and Mushrooms

This month’s linkup topic is Comfort Food. Perfect for this time of year, I’d say, with the cold and wind. It’s the time of year one fires up the stove top and makes dish after dish that simmer for hours to make a meal that warm the home and satisfy both body and soul.

This dish is a compilation of everything I love: it has wine, fresh herbs and garlic, white beans that melt in your mouth and meat so tender you can cut it with a spoon. Fresh tomato sauce reminds me of summer, and the mushrooms add a bit of taste and texture.

The actual preparation of this dish is not difficult at all, but to make all the components from scratch, as I do, you will want to have some time on your hands.  Let me give you the recipe, and then I will include links to recipes on my blog how to prepare the individual ingredients like the stock and tomato sauce.

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This recipe makes quite a lot – easily divide in half if you are serving for yourself or a few people. It is quite delicious fresh, but as with a lot of stews and slow cooked meals the leftovers are even better the next day!

You will need:

1 lb dried white beans

2 lbs stew beef

2 quarts tomato sauce

3 quarts stock or water

1 1/2 lb sliced button mushrooms

1 large handful fresh parsley finely minced (leaves only, save stems for stock)

7 fresh sage leaves finely minced  (leaves only, save stems for stock)

14 fresh tarragon leaves finely minced (leaves only save stems for stock)

5 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced

Generous two finger pinch dried orange peel

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 C dry red wine

Olive oil

1) Take 1 lb of dried white beans and soak in 2 quarts cold water or stock with a generous splash of wine added. Soak for 12 hours. Leaves beans sit as you prepare the rest of the recipe

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2) Take 2 lbs stew beef (preferably from the shoulder or chuck) and pat dry. Add a touch of salt and pepper to all pieces. Get a saute pan very hot, add a bit of olive oil. Sear all pieces on both sides for about 3-5 minutes, or until you develop a good browned layer. Remove beef from pan, set aside.  Do not clean saute pan – you will need that for the mushrooms.

3) Drain beans, and add 1 quart stock, 2 quarts tomato sauce, and the stew beef. Bring just to the boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir occasionally, leave simmer for a minimum of 3 hours. It is done when you can smash a bean easily between two fingers, and the meat is soft and tender.

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4) With the saute pan from the seared meat, add a tiny bit of olive oil and cook the garlic first, til it starts to brown. Add your mushrooms, herbs, and dried orange peel and cook til there is practically no liquid left – about 30 mins on medium heat. To help in the reduction, remove excess liquid at times and add to the beans and meat mixture. When the mushrooms have shrunk to half their original size, and there is only a tiny bit of liquid in the pan, raise heat to high and add your wine. Reduce til there is barely any liquid, and the edges of the mushrooms start to brown and crisp up.

5) When beans and meat are finished, garnish with a generous spoonful of the mushrooms and enjoy!

Recipe for Vegetable Stock (photo step-by-step as well as recipe) http://foodwordsphotos.com/the-basic-kitchen-vegetable-stock/

Recipe for Tomato Sauce (http://foodwordsphotos.com/fagiuoli-alluccelletto-with-sausage/

 

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