This is not a recipe of exacts, in fact, you don't even need a measuring cup. Start to finish, it may take longer than two hours, especially if your meat is in large pieces, but don't go by the clock. It is finished when the meat is tender. Enjoy before spring!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup baby carrots
1/4 cup celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 ounce package mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons flour
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme OR
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup decent red wine such as Merlot
Kneaded Butter* for thickening if needed
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and rinsed
*Kneaded Butter also known as Beurre Manie is 1 tablespoon soft butter mixed into a paste with 1 tablespoon of flour that thickens sauces very easily.
In a large heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, heat olive oil. Working in batches, make sure meat is dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and a bit of pepper. Immediately add to hot pan in a single layer . Brown each side and remove to warm platter. Repeat until done, set aside, adding more oil if necessary.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pan, scrapping up brown bits if possible. Cook 5 minutes at medium heat. Stir in garlic and mushrooms, let cook an additional 2 minutes. Add meat back to pan. Sprinkle with flour, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and wine to cover. Stir in thyme. Bring to a boil and let simmer until meat is tender, at least 1 hour. Adjust seasonings, add peas and onions, simmer 5 more minutes. Check consistency and whisk in a pinch of the beurre manie if necessary. If so, cook an additional few minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and Mashed Potatoes, and serve with your favorite red wine. So good.