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Beef With Mushrooms and Capers

2 1/2 pounds stewing beef, in one-inch cubes
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups veal or beef stock
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
1/2 pound small fresh mushroooms
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons capers


Dry the pieces of beef and dust them lightly with flour. Heat one tablespoon of the butter and one tablespoon oil in a heavy three-quart casserole. Brown the meat over medium-high heat without crowding. Add a little more oil if necessary. Remove the beef from the casserole and lower the heat. Saute the onion in the casserole until tender. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Stir in the stock and vermouth, scraping the bottom of the casserole. Return the beef and any juices it might have released to the casserole. Add the thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper and cover. Adjust heat so the stew simmers gently. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and saute the mushrooms quickly over very high heat until they are lightly browned. Drain them and add them to the casserole. Continue cooking the stew for another 15 minutes or so, until the beef is tender. If you are making this stew in advance, complete it up untll this point, then finish step four just before serving. Combine the cream and mustard. Stir a little of the hot sauce from the stew into this mixture, then add the cream mixture back to the casserole. Add the capers, recheck seasonings, bring the sauce to a simmer once again and then serve.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com