Balsamic Beef Stew

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 lb boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2 in pieces

3 Tbsp Arbequina (or other Natural) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large red onion, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 cup full bodied red wine

2 cups beef broth

1 lb red or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

2 Tbsp Traditional 18 Year Balsamic Vinegar

Additional salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat. In a resealable plastic bag, combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the beef, seal the bag and shake to coat the beef with seasoned flour.

In a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, warm the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Working in batched if needed to avoid crowding, remove the beef from the bag, shake off excess flour and add meat to the pot in a single layer. Cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, 6-8 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate.

Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and saute over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves, wine and broth.

Braise the meat and vegetables. Return the meat and any juices from the plate to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and braise until meat is nearly fork tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots, re-cover and continue to braise until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more.

Finish the dish. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Stir in the Traditional 18 Year Balsamic, serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings