When this whole Pandemic lock down began, Hubby and I took stock of everything we had in the house. The more meals I could create using what was on hand, the less times we would need to be exposed to our fellow shoppers at the grocery store. It just made sense.
In the freezer was some stew meat, pearl onions and bacon. In the wine rack were bottles of Burgundy. And, as always, in the pantry were cartons of both chicken and beef stock. My spice cabinet has just about any spice you can think of, so we were in good shape to make my fabulous Beef Burgundy Stew. The only things missing were the mushrooms, shallots and salt pork. The mushrooms weren’t a problem. Shallots were also readily available. There is a run on white and yellow onions, sort of a hit and miss, but shallots are well-stocked. I think that’s because many American cooks don’t know what to do with shallots. The salt pork wasn’t available, although I’m not sure why. No matter, there was bacon.
The day I set about to make my Stew, a lovely lady I know was streaming live on Face Book. She makes loose-leaf tea blends and spices that she sells at fairs and festivals. We first met a few years back at the Edge of Spring Fantasy Fair. She’s my go to lady for teas and some of my favorite spices. If you are interested in ordering directly, be sure to visit Kitchen Witch Gourmet. I modified my Stew recipe to use her Spice of Life Blend. It just seemed fitting. According to this witch; Spice of Life is used to enrich you food with the abundance of success, the power of love, over whelming happiness and a hint of surprise. Yeah, we needed that.
If you do get some of her spices, I would highly recommend Flying Monkey Pepper; a blend of sesame seeds, fire roasted garlic, crushed black pepper, lemon peel, onion, salt, lemon oil, citric acid, and the cackle of 1,000 witches. Yes, you read that correctly – the cackle of 1,000 witches. It’s great on grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Birds of a Feather is a great all-around poultry seasoning, and French Kiss is similar to the Herbs de Provence found in North American markets in that it is a blend of dried herbs and lavender.
Beef Burgundy Pear Onion Stew
4 strips Bacon
1 thin sliced Shallot
1/4 cup Flour
5 teaspoons Spice of Life Seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 lbs Beef Stew Meat, trimmed
1 cup Burgundy Red Wine
1 3/4 cups Beef Stock
1 bag Pearl Onions, frozen
1/2 lb Mushrooms, quartered
Parsley Flakes, as desired
Cut bacon strips in half to create 8 short strips. In a Dutch Oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat, brown the bacon until nicely crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain, retaining bacon drippings in the pot. Remove pot from heat.
Peel and thinly slice the shallow into paper-thin rings. Return pot to medium heat, saute onions until just beginning to turn golden. Remove from pot to paper towel with bacon to drain. Remove pot from heat.
In a zip-lock bag, mix flour with 2 teaspoons Spice of Life Seasoning and the pepper. Set aside. Trim stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces. Place meat into the zip-lock bag, seal shut, removing as much air as possible. Shake the bag, roll about on the counter, whatever it takes to coat the meat in the seasoned flour.
Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Once hot, add half of the stew meat into the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, turning the meat as needed until nicely browned on all side. Remove first batch of meat from the pot, hold on a plate. Brown second batch.
Return first batch of stew meat to the pot along with any drippings that may have accumulated in the plate. Add sauteed onions, wine, beef stock and remaining 3 teaspoons of Spice of Life Seasoning. Crumble bacon, stir stew as it comes to a low boil. Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours or until meat is very tender.
Add pearl onions to the stew. Cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes. Clean and quarter mushrooms, add to the stew. Cook; uncovered; for about 10 minutes longer.
Serve over a bed of mashed potatoes with steamed asparagus for a delicious supper.