Chanterelle Beef Stew made in the slow cooker gives you a great smelling house all day with a delicious meal to look forward in the end. We served it with a special bottle of wine for our Open That Bottle Night observance. Start making this stew the night before you plan to enjoy it, so that the beef can marinade overnight before spending the next day in the slow cooker.
I’ve been a big fan of Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) since I first heard of it over five years ago. Not that I need an excuse to open a great bottle of wine–I don’t typically hold onto wine for a long time. But I do have a bottom shelf of my wine rack where some of my higher end bottles wait the right meal to be opened.
When I received a bottle of 2013 Télégramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape (14.5% ABV) for Christmas, my first thought was “A perfect OTBN bottle!”. Well, OK, actually my first thought was “What a great gift!”. But I did quickly think of OTBN, as I might instinctively think a 2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape might warrant some cellar time prior to opening. But I hadn’t had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape in awhile, so about 2 months in the cellar seemed like a good compromise between a year or two of cellaring and opening it immediately to enjoy with our Christmas dinner.
Wine from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC is perhaps the most highly sought after wine from the Rhone region of France. Literally translated as “the new castle of the Pope”, the town takes its name from the period of time in the 14th century when the Pope was relocated to Avignon.
When I first learned about Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine, I heard that 13 grape varieties, 8 red and 5 white, are allowed in a CDP blend. I’ve sampled a few that have all 13, which creates quite a complex flavor profile. The number of allowable grapes have increased as blanc and noir versions of Grenache and Picpoul are counted separately.
I do really like the Grenache/Syrah blend that is the mainstay of a CDP. However, the reputation of the region generates some pretty high prices, and I’ve come to find there are other parts of the Rhone where good producers make some excellent wines for substantially less than a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Hence, I haven’t had a CDP in some time, making it a perfect OTBN treat.
Chanterelle Beef Stew with Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Sometimes I’m picking a wine to go with the recipe I plan to make, but for OTBN, the starting point was definitely our bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I wanted something hearty and rustic. CDPs tend to be big, robust wines, not something to go with a light dish. A slow cooking chanterelle beef stew seemed like just the thing! I figured the chanterelle mushrooms would add a good flavor element to add some depth and complexity to match up with the wine.
Let’s talk more about that bottle of wine! About the time I added the mushrooms for our chanterelle beef stew, I opened up our bottle of Télégramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I thought it might need some breathing time to open up. But I was surprised to note that it was softer than I expected, with well-integrated fruit and tannins right from the first taste. This CDP has a light woodsy nose, blackberry fruit with notes of leather. Good structure, medium bodied. Very enjoyable as the stew simmered, and even better when trading bites of the hearty stew for sips of this excellent wine. I was definitely pleased with the pairing!
The Télégramme Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre and 4% Cinsault. I only took a closer look a the label detail to get the grape breakdown, and noted the explanation that “Le Télégramme is Vignobles Brunier’s second-lable wine in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC…” and goes on to note it is made from young vines. Thus, they recommend it being enjoyed in the early years of its life…so much more suited to being opened now, not being cellared. Glad OTBN prompted me to enjoy it sooner rather than later!
Making Chanterelle Beef Stew
As mentioned at the top of post, this chanterelle beef stew does require a bit of advance planning. I recommend an overnight marinade, which means you want to get this stew making started the night before you plan to eat it. The beef marinades overnight, helping to make it tasty and tender. Then in the morning, brown the beef, put together the other ingredients in the stockpot and go about your day.
You will want to plan to return to the stew making about 90 minutes before the cooking time is done to reconstitute the chanterelle mushrooms and add them to the stew.
When I make beef stew in the slow cooker, I like to finish it on the stove top by simmering it for 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving. This thickens the stew. You can serve it right from the crockpot if you like, it will just have more liquid.
You can also make this stew in a regular oven if you like. Brown the beef in a large dutch oven, then add the additional ingredients to the dutch oven instead of the crockpot. Cook the stew a 300 degree oven for about 4 hours, adding the reconstituted mushrooms about 30 minutes prior to finishing the chanterelle beef stew cooking process.
- FOR THE MARINADE
- 1 onion quartered
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 8 sage leaves
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 2 tsp sea salt
- A few grinds of pepper
- 4 lbs stew beef, cut into 2 inch cubes
- ADDITIONAL STEW INGREDIENTS
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 parsnip, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ cups reserved marinade
- 4 sage leaves
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch fennel seeds
- pinch coarse sea salt
- 2 ozs dried chanterelle mushrooms
- ⅓ cup chanterelle mushroom liquid
- MAKE THE MARINADE: Combine all the marinade ingredients, through the juniper berries, sea salt and pepper, in a large bowl.
- Place the beef in a large sealable plastic bag, then pour the marinade into the bag. Gently shake the beef around a bit to get it well-coated, then squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Store the beef in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- PREPARE THE STEW: When you’re ready to start cooking, place a strainer inside a large bowl. Pour the beef mixture into the strainer, using the bowl to capture and reserve the marinade. Remove the beef, scraping off big pieces of herbs and spices from the marinade. Set the beef aside in a bowl to cook.
- Heat the oil on medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the chopped onion to the pan, cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
- Stir in the beef, combining it well with the onions. Salt to taste. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.
- After the beef has browned, transfer the beef and onions into the crockpot. Add the next "Additional Stew Ingredients": carrots, parsnip, minced garlic, and reserved marinade to the crockpot.
- Make an herb bundle by using some kitchen string to tie together the sage leaves, thyme and bay leaf. Add the herb bundle to the slow cooker.
- Add the pinch of fennel seeds and sea salt to the slow cooker.
- Cook the stew with the slow cooker on high for an hour, then cook for an additional 8 hours in the slow cooker. Prepare the chanterelle mushrooms toward the end of cooking as described in the next step.
- When there are approximately 90 minutes left of slow cooking time, place the dried chanterelle mushrooms in a bowl and pour hot water of them. Let the mushrooms soak in the hot water for 30 minutes to reconstitute them.
- Place a damp paper towel inside a fine meshed sieve, with a bowl underneath the sieve to catch the liquid. Pour the mushrooms into the sieve, pushing down on them to squeeze out the liquid.
- Rinse the chanterelle mushrooms, the coarsely chop them.
- Add the mushrooms to the slowcooker along with ⅓ cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. The mushrooms should cook with the beef for at least 30 minutes.
- After the slow cooking time has ended, you can either serve the stew immediate, or you can reduce the liquid for a thicker stew. To reduce, transfer the stew to a large pot, and simmer uncovered on medium low heat for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Serve the beef stew with mashed potatoes and a robust red wine.
Open That Bottle Night Pairings from #winePW bloggers
Jen from Vino Travels will share Baked sausage rigatoni with Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva
Cindy from Grape Experiences is posting Wine and Dine: Two New Zealand Pinot Noirs and One-Pan Chicken
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla is pairing Red Wine Chorizo + 1994 Argyle Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir
Nancy from Pull That Cork will post Our OTBN Celebration: The Château Léoville-Las Cases Stole the Show
Lori from Dracaena Wines is sharing Wine is in Boxes. It’s OTBN. Still turned out to be a night not to miss
Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog will post Batting A Thousand for OTBN Vol 8- A Celebration With Friends
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator is posting Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger
No blog post about #OTBN, no worries! You can still join the conversation about Open That Bottle Night Pairings by joining our live Twitter Chat on Saturday, March 11. Simply tune into the #winePW hashtag on Twitter at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT on 3/11 and join the conversation. Please also make plans to join us for the April Wine Pairing Weekend event, when Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm will be hosting on the topic of “My Old Standy” on April 8. You can get a list of all the past and upcoming #winePW events by visiting the Wine Pairing Weekend page.