1 lb beef shoulder (don’t remove the fat!)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 cup grape juice
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 clove garlic
a tied bundle of thyme
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pan. Add the meat in batches and sear on all sides until brown. Try not to overcrowd the pan, set the meat aside once it is all browned. Lower the heat and add the onions to the pot and cook until soft and translucent, roughly 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the grape juice and stock to the pot, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the liquids to a boil.
Add the meat to the pot along with the garlic and thyme. If your meat isn’t submerged in the stock/juice add some water until the meat is covered. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 2 hours, or until fall-apart tender. Stir every 20 minutes and remove any scum, oil that may accumulate. When done, remove thyme and serve.
Recipe notes: I found this pretty enjoyable, especially the second day (it’s also easier to remove the solidified oil). It is a solid stew base that can be adapted and modified. I ended up cooking mine much longer, the meat just wasn’t as tender as I wanted it. I added baby bella mushrooms in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, but carrots, peas or other veggies are just fine. We ate this with a loaf of bread, but this stew over a bowl of buttery egg noodles sounds pretty awesome too. Was it authentic? I will probably never know.