I've actually never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I know, I know. Likely story, right? There is a huge part of me that is a total hopeless romantic, but I also get the "icks" from things that are over-the-top cheesy and cliche. However, I've been wanting to make this meal ever since I saw the movie Julie and Julia and figured tonight would be a good night for it. I have a bit of a fascination with Julia Child. She fearlessly embraced a foreign culture and mastered both the language and the cuisine. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a labor of love and has inspired me to explore my little world of GF cuisine. While preparing this meal definitely requires time and a bit of commitment and patience, it is actually fairly simple...especially since I modified her's quite a bit to fit my busy days. As I sit here typing this blog entry, I'm left feeling confused as to why I was so intimated by this meal. I blame Julia Child...and that voice. So I decided to attempt my very best Julia and figured there was no better occasion than Valentine's Day to make this for my special guy. And a very Happy Valentine's Day to all of my amazing readers.
2 lbs sirloin, tenderloin or stew meat, chopped into bite sized chunks
¼ cup GF flour
salt and pepper
3 TBSPs canola oil, divided
1 TBSP butter
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large bay leafs
1 TBSP fresh minced thyme
4 cups dry red wine (I used Cabernet)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup brandy
16 oz sliced mushrooms (we love our mushrooms - you can use 8 oz!)
mashed potatoes, potato wedges, or noodles, to serve over
Combine the flour, 1 tsp salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag and then add the beef and shake well so all the beef has been covered by the flour.
Heat 1 TBSP oil and butter in a large cast iron (or heavy bottomed) pan with a top over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the beef and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until just browned. Remove beef and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the other TBSP of oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle vegetables with some salt and pepper and sauté until onion is translucent and carrots have started to become tender. Add the garlic and minced thyme and stir to combine.
Next add the beef to the vegetables along with the wine, brandy and bay leafs. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover pot.
Simmer beef for three hours. After three hours, the wine should have reduced to a thick sauce and the beef should be fork tender. Season with salt and pepper.
About ten minutes before the end of the simmering process, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan and saute the mushrooms with some salt and pepper until soft. Stir cooked mushrooms into beef at the very end.
To serve, remove bay leafs from beef and serve beef on top of mashed potatoes.