2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup pitted niçoise olives
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 (1-inch) strip orange rind
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate at room temperature 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
2. Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and mushrooms; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving mushrooms and 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Chop mushrooms.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef mixture with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of beef mixture to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place browned beef mixture in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining beef mixture. Add wine and broth to skillet; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Pour wine mixture into slow cooker. Add mushrooms, reserved 1/4 cup soaking liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, olives, and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes). Place peppercorns, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and orange rind on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; secure with twine. Add cheesecloth bundle to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender. Discard the cheesecloth bundle.
4. Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to slow cooker; cook 20 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chopped thyme.
3 More Ways with Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1. Rehydrate mushrooms with boiling water; use soaking liquid and mushrooms to flavor risotto.
2. Enrich soups and stews with soaking liquid and mushrooms.
3. Use soaking liquid and mushrooms as the base for pasta sauce.