Beef Stew with Red Wine over Polenta

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

Ingredients

For the Stew:  

2 pounds of boneless chuck cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red onions chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
4 carrots cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ribs celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 garlic cloves
8 ounces of white mushrooms halved
2 cups of reduced sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups of red wine
6 fresh of parsley sprigs
5 fresh of thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper   

For the Polenta:   

3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of water
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of instant polenta
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. For the stew, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to a plate and repeat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining beef.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are somewhat softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beef (and the juices from the plate), broth, wine, parsley, thyme, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Start the polenta ten minutes before the stew finishes cooking. Combine the milk, water, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer; slowly whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until polenta is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until well combined. Serve stew over polenta.