Perfect big beefy stew for a cool fall or winters evening!
3 lb. (1.5 Kg) boneless beef shoulder roast, or chuck roast cut into 2" cubes
2 oz. (90g) pancetta chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. (55g) dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh rosemary
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup (250 mL)dry red wine
3 cups (750 mL) peeled pearl onions
1 28-oz. (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Vegemite or Marmite
Pre heat the oven to 325°F (160ºC).
Heat the oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the pancetta stirring occasionally, until browned but not crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
Heat the dutch oven to medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering hot. Season about one-third of the beef with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the pot. Brown well on all sides. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl and repeat with the rest of the beef.
Pour all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pot, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, soaked chopped porcini, rosemary, and bay leaf, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Return the pancetta to the pot, add the wine, stirring to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, tomatoes, and vegemite. Stir and bring to a boil.
Return the beef to the pot along with any accumulated juice. Cover and place in the oven.
After 1 hour in the oven, add the pearl onions to the pot. Cover and, return to the oven. Cook until the beef is fork-tender about another hour.
Stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.