It’s not going to be pretty tomorrow when the Green Bay Packers travel to America’s Second City to take on the Chicago Bears for the NFL’s National Conference championship.
The winner gets a trip to the Super Bowl two weeks later. The loser is done for the season. And it’s one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
According to weather reports, it’s very possible that the air temperature at game time will feel like 0 or possible even below 0, factoring in the wind chill.
Chicago fans say: “Bring it on!”
We say: Stay at home, watch the game on TV, and stay warm with a helping or two of Cabernet Beef Stew. It’s a wonderful dish any time of the year, but particularly when the weather is frigid… and better still when accompanied by a big game.
This dish pairs perfectly with Cabernet Sauvignon.
CABERNET BEEF STEW
* 3 1/2-lbs. boneless stew meat, cut into 11/2-in. squares
* Flour, salt and pepper
* 3 tablespoons cooking oil
* 2 cups sliced onions
* 1 cup sliced carrots
* 4 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
* 2 cups beef stock
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced coarsely
* 2 cups stewed tomatoes
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
1. Dry meat and coat in flour; discard excess. Salt and pepper meat to taste.
2. Heat oil in a large stewing pot. When oil is very hot, add meat in a single layer.
3. Brown meat 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s brown on all sides. Take out meat and reserve.
4. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan and add onions and carrots. Saute vegetables until golden, stirring as needed.
5. Add some wine to stew pot, scraping browned bits and pieces off bottom of pan. Add meat back in along with the rest of the wine, the stock, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme.
6. Bring the stew to a simmer and cover. Simmer 21/2 to 3 hours, until meat is very tender when pierced by a fork.
7. Take meat out of the stew pot and reserve. Pour rest of the liquid through a strainer into another pot.
8. Degrease the cooking liquid.
9. Taste the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
10. Mix cornstarch and water together. Add this to the stewing liquid, and bring to a boil, stirring until thickened.
11. Add meat back in and serve.