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Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, as needed
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, as needed
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven or a large heavy kettle over low
heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a
slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots.
Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted
spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan to augment fat.
Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake
off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pan. Cook over
medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides,
then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pan, and cook, stirring, until the bottom
is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard
and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat
and onion mixture to pan. Lower heat, cover pan partway, and simmer
gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices
are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium
skillet over medium-high heat, and saut\xe9 mushrooms until browned
and tender.

Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine.
Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.


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