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1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 to 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carton (32 ounces) beef broth
1 cup dry red wine or additional beef broth
1/2 cup brandy
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon each dried parsley flakes, rosemary, sage leaves, tarragon and thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
Hot mashed potatoes
Preheat oven to 325°. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; brown beef in batches. Remove from pan.
Add mushrooms and onions to pan; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, wine, brandy, tomato paste and herbs. Return beef to pan. Bring to a boil.
Bake, covered, 1 hour. In a small bowl, mix flour and water until smooth; gradually stir into stew. Bake, covered, 30 minutes longer or until stew is thickened and beef is tender. Skim fat. Serve stew with mashed potatoes.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled stew in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.Yield: 6 servings.