OK, it's not exactly cold here in South Florida. But 65 degrees is kind of cool for us! Before you let me have it for not appreciating our lack of snow, please allow me to post one of my favorite cold weather recipes that will make staying inside a pleasure. This is the non-Paleo version but I am posting a Paleo adaptation as well.
3 pounds chuck steak or beef blade
1 bottle red burgundy wine
1 leek, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 2 chopped
bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves)
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1” dice
1 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup Cognac (optional)
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
French baguette, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Cut the meat into 1 ½ inch cubes and trim away any excess fat. Heat the red wine in a large saucepan. Add the leek, shallots, one carrot, 2 crushed garlic cloves, bouquet garni and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Carefully ignite the red wine and allow the alcohol to burn off completely. When the flame goes out, remove from heat and cool completely.
Add the meat to the cooled red wine mixture and place in a zip lock or large bowl covered with plastic film. Put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 315 degrees F.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in 5 ½ qt. French oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Drain the meat and reserve the marinade and bouquet garni, straining out and discarding the vegetables. Pat the beef cubes with paper towels and then season them with salt and pepper. Reheat the pan. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside, reserving any juices.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the remaining carrots and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the remaining 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac if using, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and pancetta back into the pot with the wine and any juices. Add enough beef broth to just cover the meat. Add the tomato paste, and bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer, cover the French oven with the lid and place it in the oven for about 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Skim off any fat on the surface and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. In a separate skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Saute the mushrooms for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.