This rich, hearty French-inspired beef stew is a favorite in the Ewer household--and among our guests!
This sturdy dish takes well to freezing, and flavors are enhanced by the time melding in the freezer.
Serve over white rice for a warming dish on a cold day.
Cut chuck roast into 1-inch cubes. Heat oven to 325-degrees.
Cut bacon slices into 1/2-inch strips. In a large skillet, slowly cook bacon bits until crisp. Place drained bacon in the bottom of a 3-quart oven-proof casserole baking dish; retain bacon fat in skillet.
Brown roast cubes on all sides in bacon fat; spoon into baking dish on top of bacon. Add flour to fat remaining in the skillet; stir over medium high heat until flour is browned.
Carefully add broth and red wine to skillet, whisking contents to avoid lumps. Add bay leaf, thyme and pepper, and simmer skillet until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir often.
When thickened, pour contents of skillet over meat and bacon. Cover baking dish and bake at 325-degrees until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove dish from oven and stir in onions and button mushrooms. If sauce is too thick, add small amounts of water or red wine. Return to oven until meat is very tender and vegetables are cooked, about 1 hour.
Makes 12 servings. Serve over rice.
To freeze: after stirring in onions and mushrooms, cool. Divide contents of casserole into two to four freezer containers, depending on family size. Freeze.
To cook after freezing: thaw freezer container in refrigerator overnight. Place contents in oven-safe casserole baking dish. Cover and bake at 325-degrees until meat is really tender, about 1 1/2 hours.