Port or Wine-braised beef & mushrooms
I taught this wonderful dish in my most recent healthy home cooking class and it was a huge hit! Since this meal takes a few hours, I started one version in the crockpot using port wine for variety prior to class and we made another version with a red wine blend together on the stove top using a Dutch oven. Both turned out incredible and it was hard to choose between the two ~ each of them tender, flavorful, rich and very satisfying. I love that this recipe can be made in the crockpot, in the oven, or on the stove ~ chef's choice! Check out the notes for these variations.
Wine-braised Beef Recipe
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
4 cups beef broth
8 oz ruby port or red wine
About 2.5 lb roast grass-fed chuck roast cut to large bite-sized pieces
2 med yellow onions cut to bite-sized pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 tsp salt + extra to salt the mushrooms
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp pepper
4Tbsp tapioca flour + possible extra
Salt the mushrooms and set to the side while you chop the other veggies.
Put all ingredients from beef broth through pepper into the crockpot and give a quick stir, then place the salted mushrooms on top. (*See note)
Cook on low for 6 hours.
About 30 minutes into the cooking time, stir the mushrooms in with the rest of the stew.
At the end of the cooking time, ladle out most of the broth into a soup pot to make a gravy.
In a separate bowl, mix the tapioca flour with just enough cold water to make a slurry. Ladle a little of the broth into the bowl and give it a thorough mix. Pour this mixture into the pot with the broth and stir. (*See notes)
Bring the broth to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer on low. Keep mixing the broth as it cooks until it thickens to a gravy. If it does not thicken to a gravy, create another slurry with the tapioca flour and repeat the process.
Add the gravy back to the pot along and give it a stir.
Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Yum!
*Mushrooms. I can always tell when mushrooms are cooked without salt ~ they are bland and boring. Salting them ahead of time and letting them sit over the stew for a while ensures flavorful mushrooms in the final dish.
*When making gravy... Do not put the tapioca flour (or any starch) directly into the hot broth or it will clump and ruin your gravy. It must be mixed with cold water first, then temped with a little of the hot broth before adding it into the pot. You could also use corn starch, arrowroot, or regular flour though I think the tapioca makes the nicest gravy.
*To make this in your oven instead, follow the same instructions but cook in a dutch oven or large roasting pan for 2-4 hours (depending on your oven & the size of the roast) at 300 degrees F. Basically, if it's still rubbery, it's not done yet. Roast until it is soft. If uncovered, mix every 45 minutes or so to keep the tops of the meat and veggies from drying out. You could also tent the pan with aluminum foil. I don't personally like using aluminum foil while cooking since aluminum is a toxin, but it's probably okay if it doesn't touch the food itself.
Follow the original directions to make the gravy.
*Stove Top. If you have a dutch oven, you can make this on the stove top by simmering for about 3 hours while covered. Again, if it’s still rubbery, it’s not done. Simmer until soft. Follow the original directions to make the gravy.