BEEF AND RED-WINE HOT POT
From "Rachel's Irish Family Food," by Rachel Allen.
• 3 to 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• About 9 oz. button mushrooms, halved (or quartered if they are large)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 small onions, sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 31/3 lb. stewing beef, cut into 2-in. chunks
•2/3 c. red wine
• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, divided
• 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 11/2 lb. baking or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. slices
• 2 tbsp. butter, diced
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat 3 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and toss for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove mushrooms from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
If there isn't much oil left in the dish or pan, add another tablespoon. Add the onions and garlic, stir over the heat, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until they start to turn golden at the edges. Add the meat and wine and 2 teaspoons thyme leaves. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid.
Bake in the oven for 11/4 to 11/2 hours, until meat is just tender. Take pan out of oven and turn up heat to 450 degrees. Stir in mushrooms and red wine vinegar. Arrange potato slices over beef in pan (it's fine if there's more than 1 layer). Scatter over remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and some salt and pepper, then dot with butter.
Return Dutch oven to the oven and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and beginning to turn golden.