Savory Beef Stew with Mustard and Brandy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • ¼ pound pancetta or bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 shallots, peeled, halved vertically, and trimmed off the root end
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter, as needed
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup brandy or Cognac
  • 2½ cups unsalted beef or chicken stock
  • ½ cup smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coarse Dijon or Pommery mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, picked and chopped if large
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1½ inch chunks
  • ½ pound crimini or button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF / 160ºC
  2. Place bacon in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Note: If you don't want to use bacon, just melt 2 tablespoons butter. Raise heat to medium-high. Season beef lightly with salt but generously with pepper and lightly toss with flour. Place half the cubes in the pan. Cook in a single layer (don't crowd the pan, do it in more batches if necessary) over medium-high heat until well browned on all sides, then transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining beef, adding the second batch of browned beef to the bowl.
  3. If the pan is dry, add 2 tablespoons butter. Add onions and cook until softened but not brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add brandy and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and any crusted-on bits come loose. Add stock, thyme, bay leaves, smooth Dijon mustard and coarse mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat to pot. Bring liquid to a gentle simmer, cover pot and place in the oven. Cook until meat is very tender, about 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Note: If using a slow cooker, add sauce and browned beef and cook for 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Add carrots and shallots halfway through or roast them separately.
  5. Stir in carrots and shallots, and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté mushrooms until browned and tender. Stir mushrooms and reserved crumbled bacon into stew, then taste, and adjust seasoning.
  6. Serve hot, with boiled potatoes or buttered egg noodles.
Recipe by Nerds with Knives at