If you think dried apricot is good for snacking, know that it is just as good for meat stews. During the long and slow cooking, the apricots soften and release a subtle tanginess that gives the meat stew a beautiful richness that is best experienced than described.
Taste your dried apricots before deciding what wine to use. If they are more sweet than tart, choose a dry wine. If they are rather tart, go for sweet or semi-sweet wine.
Beef and Apricot Stew
- 800 grams stewing beef short ribs, brisket, crest… any of them will be good
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery
- 2 ½ cups red wine recommended: cabernet sauvignon or merlot
- 1 cup dried apricots cut into halves if large
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1 ½ bone broth
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Cut the beef into two-inch cubes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place in a resealable bag, add the flour and shake thoroughly to coat each piece well.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in an oven-safe pot or pan.
- Brown the meat on all sides. Scoop out.
- Pour off the oil until only about two tablespoonfuls remain. DO NOT scrape off the browned bits.
- Reheat the oil. Saute the garlic, onion and celery, scraping the bottom lightly but thoroughly to get the browned bits to mix with the vegetables.
- Return the browned beef to the pot.
- Pour in the wine; add salt and pepper. Boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by a quarter (see notes after the recipe).
- Throw in the apricots and stir.
- Add the tarragon sprigs.
- Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Cover the pot tightly, transfer to the oven and cook for two hours or longer until the beef is tender.
- Taste the stew and adjust the seasonings before serving.