This deeply flavorful dish is as much a comfort food as it is a luscious meal to serve to guests. The stew may be made a day or two in advance and reheated, and it freezes well. The polenta is best made just before serving.
- For the stew
- 2 pounds boneless chuck cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions chopped into ¾-inch pieces
- 4 carrots cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ribs celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 12 garlic cloves
- 8 ounces white mushrooms halved
- 2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 6 resh parsley sprigs
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- For the polenta
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 black pepper
- 1 cup instant polenta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.