Beef and Medjool Date Stew
Wine Pairing: Beaujolais, Syrah/Shiraz, Chianti Classico
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
6 carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch on bias
4 celery ribs, sliced ¼ inch on bias
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered (substitute white or button mushrooms if unavailable)
2 T. garlic, minced
1 T. thyme
2 bay leaves
4 lbs. beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
12 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup dry red wine
4 cup beef stock
2 T. tomato paste
½-1 t. crushed red pepper (optional)
½ t. Kosher salt
1 t. Freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish
On a plate or piece of wax paper, combine flour with ¼ t. salt and 1 t. pepper. Coat beef cubes with flour mixture. Shake off excess.
In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high. Working in batches, so as not to crowd the pot, brown beef cubes on all sides. Set each batch aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms. Add ¼ t. salt and crushed red pepper (optional). Saute 5-6 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add wine to deglaze pan, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan. Add tomato paste, stirring 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, stirring 2 minutes. Return meat to the pan. Add thyme, bay leaves, and dates. Add stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook on low for 1 hour, or until meat is tender and broth has thickened.