Stewed Beef

(Serves ~9)

Cube the beef. Don't remove connective tissue or fat: we're stewing and the whole point is that's going to break down nicely. Put in ziplock bag with spices and salt, mix it around until it's well covered. Put it in a frying pan on high heat with cooking oil, only as much as fits in a single layer. When it's well seared, flip the pieces. Remove, deglaze the pan with wine. (Pour in wine, scrape it aroudn to get tasty bits off the pan, put in with the rest of the now-cooked beef. Use plenty of wine, since this is the only wine/acid in this recipe.) I find that this works better than deglazing at the end because you get more flavor and less char. I'll usually taste a small well cooked piece after each round to see if I need to adjust the spices. Repeat until you've browned all the meat.

Cut the bacon small and cook it slowly. Get it good and crispy.

Cut the onions small and cook them until they're nice and browned.

Blend the bacon, onions, and 4c water until smooth. Yes, really, like in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Put all of this in a pressure cooker, and cook on high for about 50min. I like the beef to be falling apart on the fork when its done. You could also use a slow cooker, something like 10hr. (I haven't done this.)

Serve over pasta; anything is good but egg noodles are especially good. Sour cream or whole milk greek yoghurt can combine well with this.

[1] Most recently I've used top round and eye round. Stew cuts tend to be cheap ones, large pieces, with names involving, "roast" or "round". Each time I go to the grocery store I'll walk through the meat section, and if I see some beef on sale for $1.99 (usually marked down from about $7/lb) I'll buy a bunch, cube it, and freeze it. Most recently I bought 18lb.

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