A lighter version of the traditional beef stew, this recipe was created by Israeli chef Haim Cohen. Before it is cooked, the meat is marinated in a sweet grape mush that tenderizes it. The grape juices are also added to the stew for a fresh, fruity sweet sauce.
- 2.2 lb / 1 kg muscat grapes
- 2.2 lb / 1 kg trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1.2-inches / 3-cm cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 whole shallots
- 3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally crosswise into ¼-inch / 5mm pieces
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 3
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (preferably Mutti)
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 thyme stem
- 2 sage leaves
- 3 parsley stems
- Place the grapes in a food processor and pulse to mush. Transfer to a bowl, add the diced meat and rub it with the mush. Cover with cling film and marinate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
- Line a tray with paper towels, transfer the meat from the grape mush, and clean off any grape residue with a paper towel. Drain the mush and set aside the juice for later.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Arrange the meat in a single layer at the bottom of the pot and brown the meat, about 2 minutes on each side. Fry the meat in two cycles if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the shallots, carrots, leek and celery to the pot, mix well and fry for 2 minutes. Add the meat, reduce to a low heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour the red wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond at the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Add the grape juice, black peppercorns and herbs. Pour boiling water to 1.2-inches / 3-cm above the meat and vegetables. Cover, reduce to a low heat and gently simmer for 1½ hours. Occasionally check and add more boiling water if the meat and vegetables aren’t covered.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, preheat the oven to 250°F / 120°C. Transfer the covered pot to the oven for 1½ hours, removing the lid in the last 10 minutes. Serve hot. The stew will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.