- ½ cup dried porcini or mixed mushrooms
- 1 cup/250 ml hot water
- 2 kg/4 lbs stewing beef
- 4/340g smoked sausages/Polish kilebasa
- 100 g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 cup pickes/gherkins, chopped
- 6-8 marinated mushrooms, preferably from Eastern European store
- 15 Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 500 g tomato passata or crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp sweet paprika, smoked
- 6 baby potatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp of each chopped dill and parsley
- sour cream/creme fraiche
- lemon slices for serving (optional)
- Soak dried mushroom in boiling hot water and set aside to soften for 30 minutes, then remove mushrooms from water while and straining the liquid through a fine sieve, set aside for later use.
- In a large cast iron pot fry bacon lardons until they render fat, remove to a separate plate. To the same pot add stewing beef and brown on high heat with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, remove to the same plate as bacon, then add sliced smoked sausage and brown briefly, remove to the same plate as beef and bacon.
- To the same pot add chopped onion and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes, add chopped carrot and garlic and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes, then add butter, marinated mushrooms, pickles, olives and rehydrated mushrooms and paprika, cook while stirring for 5 minutes.
- Return beef, bacon and smoked sausage to the pot, add 2 bay leaves, the liquid mushrooms were soaked in, tomato passata and 1.5 litre of water, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 2 hours. 30 minutes before the time is up add halved baby potatoes.
- Check your stew once in a while, stir to avoid burning. By the end of the cooking time it should be thick and the beef should be very tender. Add chopped herbs at the end. Taste and adjust the flavour if necessary. You might need to add 1 tsp of sugar if your tomatoes were not very ripe.
- Serve with sour cream or creme fraiche and slices of lemon if desired.
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