Beef Stew with Cuminseed

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Title: Beef Stew with Cuminseed
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Beef, Main Dishes, Stews, Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 c Unbleached, all-purpose
-flour
1 tb Dried thyme
1 ts Salt; plus extra to taste
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
-- plus extra to taste
3 lb Beef stew meat; in 1" cubes
1/4 c Olive oil
1 c Dry red wine
1 1/2 c Homemade beef stock
1 c Canned crushed tomatoes
2 tb Ground cuminseed
1 ts Chili powder
1 Bay leaf
8 To 12 white pearl onions
6 Garlic cloves
-- peeled and chopped
1/2 c Chopped Italian parsley
-- plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 c Green Sicilian olives


Stir the flour, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper together in a
shallow bowl. Turn the cubes of stew meat in the flour to coat well, shake
off excess and transfer to a plate.

Heat olive oil in a heavy kettle. Add the beef cubes, a few at a time, and
brown them well on all sides. As they are browned, transfer them to paper
towels to drain.

When all the meat is browned, discard excess oil but do not wash the
kettle. Add the wine, beef stock and crushed tomatoes; set kettle over
medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits
from the bottom of the pan. Return beef to the kettle, then add cuminseed,
chili powder and bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover kettle and set it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 350 F. for
1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and regulating the oven temperature to
maintain the stew at a steady simmer.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an "x" in the root
end of each pearl onion and drop them into the boiling water for 1 minute.
Drain them and drop them into a bowl of cold water. When completely cool,
drain and peel them.

After the stew has been in the oven about 1 hour, stir in the onions.
Continue to cook the stew, uncovered.

After another 15 minutes, stir in the garlic, 1/2 cup parsley and the
olives. Continue to cook, uncovered, until stew is reduced and thickened
to your liking and beef is tender. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle
with parsley, and serve immediately.

The authors note that "depending on the rest of the menu, this stew seems
Mexican or Mediterranean because it is hearty and intriguingly seasoned
with cuminseed..."

From _The Silver Palate Cookbook_ by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins with
Michael McLaughlin. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1982. Pg.
125. ISBN 0-89480-204-6.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini