- Servings: 4-6
|6 slices||Thick Pepper-style Bacon, sliced in ½" pieces|
|1 lb||Beef Chuck or Chuck Eye Roast, cubed|
|Flour or Cornstarch, for coating|
|1× 6-oz pkg||Fresh Crimini (brown) or Baby Bella Mushrooms, halved|
|4||Large Cloves Garlic, chopped, or 1 tablespoon minced garlic|
|1 tsp||Basil, or to taste|
|½ lb||Baby Carrots, cut in chunks|
|12||Grape Tomatoes, halved|
|1½ tsp||Fennel Seeds|
|1½ tsp||Caraway Seeds|
|1 can||Beef Broth or Water|
|2 pkgs||Beef Gravy Mix|
|½ – 1× 6-oz. can||Tomato Paste, to taste|
|8 oz||(1 Cup) Merlot Wine, or to taste|
|¼ cup||Grated Italian Cheese, such as romano or parmesan|
In large skillet or stew pan, cook bacon until tender but not crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside, reserving bacon fat. Dredge the cubes of beef in flour or cornstarch to coat. Add a little oil to the bacon fat; brown the coated beef. Stir in any leftover flour and cornstarch; add a little water, as needed, to keep beef from sticking to pan.
In a saucepan, saute the halved mushrooms, garlic, basil and tarragon, adding carrots and grape tomatoes last. Place all sauted vegetables over cooked beef cubes; add cooked bacon and beef broth or water, then stir in beef gravy mix. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure beef and vegetables do not stick to pan. Add fennel and caraway, then simmer at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato paste and merlot, then simmer 1/2 hour more. Add cheese; simmer 15 minutes more. Add a small amount of cornstarch paste, if needed, to thicken to taste. This should be the consistency of a stroganoff or thin gravy. Cook egg noodles and serve sauce over noodles with more grated cheese, crusty bread, and a fresh salad with field greens for a hearty meal.
Make sure the beef chunks are bite-sized and not the larger stew beef cuts. If you use purchased stew meat pieces, cut the chunks in half. My husband likes a thinner sauce and thinner egg noodles. I prefer a thicker sauce and wider egg noodles. Onions or scallions are a nice addition. If you can't find grape tomatoes, cherry or chopped plum will work. I've sometimes omitted them.