Apple Cider Beef Stew

Ingredients:

3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour

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3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3-4 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon  cinnamon

Pinch crushed red pepper

2 cups apple cider

1 cup red wine

1  cup vegetable or beef stock

2 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar

4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper liberally over beef. Cover beef in light coating of flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large oven-safe pot. Brown meat on all sides and then remove from pot and set aside on a dish.

Add another tablespoon olive oil and saute onions, carrots and garlic cloves, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add cinnamon, bay leaves and pinch of red pepper flakes, continuing to stir. Saute vegetables until transluscent.

Add apple cider, red wine, stock and balsamic vinegar and let come to simmer. Add salt and pepper. Place beef back into the pot, stir and cover cooking for 2 hours in preheated oven.

At the 2-hour mark, add the potatoes. Taste the stew, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Put stew back into the oven for another 45 minutes.

Serve with rice or noodles.

Yield: 6 servings