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Mediterranean Beef Stew with
Olives and Pimientos



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Mediterranean Beef Stew with
Olives and Pimientos

Gourmet December 1989

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6 slices lean bacon
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into
1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour seasoned
with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons brandy
2 cups dry red wine
Two 14- to 16-ounce cans plum tomatoes,
including the juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Two 3-inch strips orange zest
6 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut
crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound small mushrooms,
3/4 cup pitted black olives, quartered
3/4 cup drained bottled pimiento,
cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Mashed potatoes as an accompaniment

In a kettle cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning it, until it is crisp, transfer it to paper towels to drain, and crumble it. Heat the fat remaining
in the kettle over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and
in it brown the chuck, tossed with the flour, in batches, transferring it as
it is browned, to a bowl. Add the oil to the kettle and in the fat cook the
onion and celery over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vege- tables are golden. Add the brandy and cook the mixture, stirring, until the
brandy is almost evaporated. Stir in the wine, the tomatoes with juice,
tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, orange zest, and the chuck with any
juices that have accumulated in the bowl, bring the liquid to a boil, and
braise the mixture, covered, in a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 1 1/2
hours. Stir in the carrots and the mushrooms and braise the mixture
covered, for 1 hour. Stir in the olives and the pimiento and braise the
mixture, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. The
stew improves in flavor if cooled to room temperature, uncovered, and
chilled, covered, overnight. Discard the bay leaf, season the stew with
salt and pepper, and sprinkle it with parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Serves 8.

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