A dark winter stew made with coffee and dried boletes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Keyword: Bison, Coffee, Dried Mushrooms, Stew
2lbsbison or beef chuckboneless shortrib, or stew meat
3cupsstrong chicken stockpreferably homemade
1ouncedried porciniroughly 1.5 cups of dried mushrooms
1cupsshallotdiced ¼ inch
All purpose flouras needed for dredging (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepperto taste
1teaspoondarkunsweetened cocoa powder
Flavorless oilfor browning the meat, as needed
Bouquet garni of 5 fresh thyme sprigs10 black peppercorns, a few cloves of garlic, and 1 fresh bay leaf (tie this in cheesecloth before adding to the braise)
3tablespoonsunsalted butterfor serving (optional)
Fresh horseradish grated on a microplane graterfor serving (optional)
Rehydrate the mushrooms in the stock for 30 minutes, then agitate to remove any grit, remove the mushrooms and chop roughly. Strain the stock through a fine chinois or mesh strainer and recombine the two.
Trim sinew and silver skin from the meat, then cut into 1 ounce pieces about the size of a quarter. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper, then allow to sit for 15 minutes, or overnight if you have time, this helps the salt to penetrate the meat.
Heat ¼ cup of the oil at a time in a large rondeaux or brazier, then dredge the meat in flour, tap off the excess, and, working in small batches, brown the meat deeply, then remove the meat, add more oil if needed, and continue to brown the meat. If the bottom of the pan looks like it getting brown, deglaze with some stock or water, scrape off the brown bits and add to the reserved, browned meat, then add some more oil to the pan and continue browning the meat.
After the meat has been browned, sweat the shallot in a little oil until translucent in the same pan the meat was cooked, then add the meat, mushrooms/stock, coffee, cocoa and bouquet garni then cover the pan and simmer until the meat is tender, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Transfer the stew to a container to cool, remove the bouquet, then label, date, and refrigerate until needed.
When re-heating the stew and preparing to serve, stir in the cold unsalted butter to thicken the sauce and give it a glossy sheen, adjust the seasoning for salt to taste if needed, then serve immediately, grating a little fresh horseradish over each serving.
Use any bolete you want here, or better yet use a blend-a great place to sneak in those slippery jacks--they'll blend in with other mushrooms.This is scaled from a 20 lb restaurant batch I made, expect a little bit of variation, it's stew, not rocket science.Know that I do add a little more liquid to my stews in the restaurant, since the typical downfall of braised meat dishes is my line cooks running low on the braising liquid during service. You'll notice there are no vegetables in the stew, which means you really need to use high quality stock to cook it in, since there won't be any aromatic vegetables to flavor the sauce. I prefer to cook vegetables fresh alongside to preserve their texture and garnish the stew with them. In the pictures, the stew is served with spaetzle and some roasted heirloom carrots.