Scott's Favorite Beef Stew

Fall is in the air. . .the apples are as crisp as the cool mornings, and it has me dreaming of a piping-hot pot of beef stew. I created this stew for my hubby several years ago, and it's still a favorite.

Enjoy this rich, hearty stew. Be sure to have plenty of good [gluten free] bread for dipping.

Scott's Favorite Beef Stew
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 oz. dried shitake mushrooms (or 1# button mushrooms, quartered)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. fish sauce (optional)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
green chile or sliced fresh peppers from the garden
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse mushrooms. Soak mushrooms in ~1c very hot water for about 20 minutes. Submerge with weighted bowl to keep under water level. Keep soaking water and slice very thinly.

Brown stew meat in small batches over high heat.

Sauté onions until brown and caramelized, Sauté garlic for 1 minute.

Add meat, onions, wine, herbs, sauces, mushrooms and their soaking water to broth. Add carrots for the final 45 minutes of cooking. Simmer 2 hours, or until very tender.

Garnish with green chile or sliced fresh peppers from the garden.