The wonderful aromas and flavors of this dish are the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. The better quality of the beef, red wine, and tomatoes you choose to use, the richer and more flavorful the final product will be.
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion (1/2 inch dice)
3 Medium Carrots (1/2 inch dice)
2 stalks Celery (1/2 inch dice)
2lb Beef Chuck (Boneless, excess fat removed, cut into 1 inch cubes)
1lb Mushrooms (White Button or Cremini)
2 and 1/2 cups Dry Red Wine
8 sprigs Thyme
3 Medium Plum Tomatoes
Black Pepper (Freshly ground)
In a heavy, large saucepan over a moderately high heat, add oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and, using a wooden spoon to stir occasionally, sauté until light and golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the beef and sauté, stirring occasionally, until deep brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until just starting to become tender, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and thyme, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, then lower the heat to moderately low, and simmer covered until the meat is very tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Stir the stew every 20 minutes to ensure no ingredients stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the beef is tender, use tongs to remove the tomato skins and thyme sprigs. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer the stew to a warmed serving bowl or plate and serve.