Beef Stew with Dijon & Cognac
¼ pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 Tbs. butter, as needed
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 Tbs. flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
½ cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
½ pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
¼ cup red wine
Place salt pork 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 discard. Add onion and shallots and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.
If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half of the meat in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.
Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, partially cover pan, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices 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 into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Photography by Courtney A. Liska