This Beef Stew is made simply on the stovetop and has rich flavors of porcini mushroom, root vegetables, and beef.
2lbsbeef chuck stew cubes1" pieces
1ouncedried porcini mushrooms(equal to 1/2lb fresh)
1largeyellow onion(ending up with 2.5 cups chopped)
2largecarrots(ending up with 2 cups chopped)
3ribscelery(ending up with 1.5 cups chopped)
1largeparsnip(ending up with 1.25 cups chopped)
2cupsbeef bone broth
When you're ready to begin, start by removing the beef from the fridge and letting it sit at room temperature, uncovered, while you prep everything else, which should take about 30 minutes.
Combine the porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 1.5 cups of hot water. Let soak for 20 minutes, while you prep the vegetables.
Prep the vegetables: Peel and finely chop the yellow onion. For the carrots, peel if you prefer (I personally don't), then cut into 1" thick rounds. Cut the celery into 1" thick pieces. Both the celery and carrots should be in larger pieces, similar in size to the beef cubes. Finally, peel the parsnip, then finely dice into much smaller pieces than the carrots and celery. Unlike the carrot and celery where you want bigger pieces, the parsnip is best when it dissolves and melts into the sauce, so cut into smaller pieces about 1/2" big.
Strain the soaked mushrooms through a coffee filter set inside a strainer, saving the liquid. Chop the porcini mushrooms finely.
Cook: Heat a minimum 5-qt dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, and add the bacon. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the bacon bits are crisp and the fat has rendered. While the bacon cooks, pat the beef cubes dry with paper towel, to absorb as much excess moisture as possible. Then season with salt (I use 1 tsp total of kosher salt).
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate, then add the beef stew cubes in a single layer (if your pan isn't wide enough, you may need to do two batches). Brown the beef cubes on all sides, for 8-10 minutes, then remove to the bacon plate.
Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and parsnip to the pan, along with 1/4 tsp of salt, and cook for 10 minutes, to soften slightly.
Combine everything in the pan: Add back the browned beef, the bacon, plus any juices from the plate, the chopped mushrooms along with the strained juices, plus the bone broth, anchovy paste, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for one hour over medium low heat.
At the one hour mark, check things with a fork, and give the beef a taste. Usually the vegetables are tender, the flavors are rich and developed, and the beef cubes are tender enough to eat, though will likely have a little chew to them. Sometimes I stop here and enjoy. If you wish to have a more shreddable texture, cover and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes, but know that the beef cubes will be slightly less juicy.
Once the beef and vegetables are tender, do a final taste to check that the seasoning is right. Because of the salt in the anchovy paste and the bone broth, I find it is usually well-seasoned. The beef stew is ready to serve and enjoy!