Greek Beef Stew with Quinces

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, chef and author and teacher Gail Monaghan states:

“Quince call for low, slow cooking. But the scrumptious, succulent results are worth the wait.

“The elusive quince is quirky as well as delectable.”

I made her basic poached quince which I then roasted with some maple syrup.

But a few days later and with a bowl-full of quinces on the kitchen table it was time to find a recipe that would satisfy our yearnings for something rich and deep in flavor for a cold Sunday night.

I found it in The New York Times International Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne. You MUST make this!

Ingredients (serves 6–8)

5 pounds center-cut chuck or plate of beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I used 2+ pounds for 2 so there would be enough for leftovers)
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
8 shallots, finely chopped
5 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 sprigs parsley
1 cup Tomato sauce
1 cup Beef Stock
3 cups dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered (I used a gourmet blend of bella, shiitake, portabella)
3 quinces, peeled (Gail says you do not need to peel.), cored, and cut into 8 equal slices

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Dredge the meat in the flour and set aside.
3. In a large, heavy skillet (I used a large Le Creuset pot) cook the shallots in three tablespoons of the butter, stirring, about two minutes. Add the floured meat and cook, stirring, about two minutes longer. Add the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, tomato sauce, stock, wine, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, on the top of the stove fifteen minutes.

4. Cover and place the stew in the oven. Bake one and one-half hours.
5. Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in the remaining butter until they have a nut-like odor and are golden brown.
6. Add the mushrooms and the quince slices to the meat, cover and bake forty minutes longer, or until the meat and quinces are fork tender.