Recipe courtesy Chef Ilona Daniel
2.5 lbs chuck beef flats cut into 2 inch (4 cm) cubes
cup all-purpose flour
large onions, thinly sliced
cup of your favourite craft cider, I am using Red Island Cider Father Walker
slices bacon, finely chopped (I like to pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes to make chopping easier)
cloves garlic, chopped
cup no salt added beef stock (if you have the homemade stuff this is the place to use it)
tbsp brown sugar packed
tsp thyme leaves
Chopped parsley for garnish
Toss the beef with the salt, pepper, and flour.
Brown the meat in a single layer over high heat with 2 tbsp of the butter.
Remove the beef, and reserve to be added back into the pot. Next, add the bacon to the pot; lower the heat to medium high.
Once the bacon begins to become a bit crispy, add in the onions, butter, and the thyme; lower the heat to medium. Slowly caramelize the onions so that they become very soft and sweet, but not crispy; this will take about 35 minutes. After 30 minutes have elapsed, stir through the chopped garlic.
To continue, deglaze the pan with the cider and return the heat to medium-high; reduce the liquid’s volume by ¼ . Return the beef to the pot along with the beef stock and bay leaves.
Simmer the stew at a low heat for 2-3 hours.
Check the seasoning; add more salt and pepper if needed. Add a splash of vinegar if desired.
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