Birthday Burgundy Oven Stew

Part of the fun about having an interest in cooking and food is sharing recipes. Getting a recipe from a friend is one of the most cherished gifts a person can receive. That sentiment is shared by the most experienced restaurant chefs to the little old grannies across the world.

I’ve been fortunate to receive recipes from two friends this week. I’ve already shared one — Paul Hornung stew — with readers, and today, I’m going to pass on the other.

This recipe, too, is for a beef stew. It comes from a former co-worker of mine, Steve Schmidt, who’s gave up a journalism career in favor of teaching Spanish.

Steve, who now lives in suburban Atlanta, a few weeks ago sent me his recipe for Birthday Burgundy Oven Stew, which I’m contemplating to make this weekend. Steve’s stew contains all the ingredients for the classic hearty French dish, including beef, onions and carrots, made rich with Burgundy wine.

Birthday Burgundy Oven Stew
4 pounds beef chuck or pot roast or beef round, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
4 medium onions, sliced
2 5-ounce cans water chestnuts, drained
2 6-ounce cans sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh ones)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
2 14- to 16-ounce cans tomatoes
2 cups Burgundy wine (see note)
Heat oven to 325 degrees.  In roasting pan or two Dutch ovens, mix meat, carrots, celery, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Mix flour, sugar and salt; stir into meat mixture. Stir in tomatoes and Burgundy.  Cover; bake four hours or until meat is tender.
Note: 2 cups of beef broth or stock or 2 cups water plus 2 tspns of instant beef bouillon can be subbed for the Burgundy.
Yield: Serves 12.