Beef Stew with Dried Mushrooms
- 2 cups beef stock, heated to boiling
- 2 cups dried shitake mushrooms, broken in pieces (or less, as per your taste and budget)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 lb. beef chuck, all fat trimmed, cut into pieces about 1" or slightly larger
- 1-2 tblsp.olive oil (depends on your pan)
- 1/2 cup slow roasted tomatoes, chopped
- (If you don't have roasted tomatoes, use 1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes. If using diced tomatoes for crockpot version, drain tomatoes well, measure liquid and reduce the amou
- 2 tblsps.tomato paste (I use a tube. If canned, just freeze the rest.)
- 3 dried bay leaves.
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Adapted from keyingredient.com
Break dried mushrooms into 1" pieces (this is easier than cutting them after you soak them.) heat stock to point of boiling in saucepan, turn off heat, then add mushrooms and let them soak while you brown onions and meat.
In large heavy pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil, add chopped onion and saute about 5 minute, until onions are softened but not browned. Put onions in crockpot or stockpot.
In same pan add rest of olive oil (if needed) and brown meat, turning with a fork so it browns well on all sides. (Don't rush this step. It will take about 15 minutes to brown well.) Add meat to crockpot. Pour 1/2 cup water into hot pan, use a turner to scrape all browned bits off, and add liquid and meat bits to crockpot.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms and beef stock, and bay leaves. For crockpot, cook on low 5-6 hours, until meat is tender and flavors are well combined. For stovetop, simmer on low about 2 hours. You may need to add more water for stovetop. (Don't be tempted to add more liquid to the crockpot, even if it looks like it won't be enough when you first put it in, as foods release liquid in a crockpot and I often end up wishing I had used less liquid, never more.) Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (I did not add salt.) Serve hot.