Late root vegetables still around. Comfort food on murky gray December days. Could use lamb from shoulder or leg instead of beef.
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into stew-sized chunks. In a large stock pot, brown the meat in stages on all sides in a little olive oil. Season each time with garlic powder, ground black pepper, thyme, dash of cayenne to taste. When all sides are brown, add 1/4 cup chicken broth, deglaze and remove meat and broth to a bowl. Repeat until all meat is seasoned and browned. Leave meat and broth in the bowl.
In the same stock pot, brown finely chopped veggies, about 1/4 cup each: celery with leaves, carrots, onions. Add 2 cleaned chopped leeks. Brown with veggies. Season with oregano, thyme, garlic powder, basil. Pour the meat chunks and broth back into the stock pot and stir with veggies. Add 1 cup dry red wine, such as a French Beaujolais. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours. Add 2 peeled quartered onions, 10-15 whole fresh mushroom caps, large chunks of carrots and celery and another cup of red wine. Bring to boil and simmer half-covered for another hour or so. Meat tender, veggies cooked through but not soggy. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.