Beef Stew / Shepards Pie

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced finely
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cups dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
To taste red chili powder (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 large bunches Swiss chard chopped into large pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low fat milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until the onions begin to caramelize and turn a golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
2. Stir in the wine, tomatoes and honey and simmer 3-4 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
3. Stir in the beef and return to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the basil, oregano and pepper simmer another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
4. Use a slotted spoon to place the meat into 13x9x3-inch casserole dish or roasting pan. Skim the excess fat from the sauce and stir in the optional red chili powder. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
5. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and stir into the simmering sauce. Simmer for 1 minute and pour the sauce over the meat in the casserole or roasting pan. Set aside to cool.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the chard and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and stop cooking by placing in a bowl of ice water. Drain again and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.
7. Stir the reserved chard and pour evenly over the stew.
8. Preheat oven to 400ºF and set a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash or rice with a potato masher or food mill. Add the warm milk and butter and salt.
. Top the beef stew with and even layer of the mashed potatoes, smoothing them out with a spatula.
9. Set the dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. serve.

Category: Main Courses
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