In making this recipe I used the Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking book. I have learned a lot from this book over the years and love the added advice about meat cuts, preparation techniques and what beverage or side to serve with the meal you have prepared. In my opinion Julia Child was an amazing teacher and great chef. Here is a link to her classic
Also, I would like to point out a few important differences which explain how this was adapted to be grain free and keto:
First, in the original Julia Child version you add flour to the meat after browning, we do not do this. For more information on the food chemistry behind browning of meats, please see http://www.ketomealsandrecipes.com/2017/05/30/food-chemistry-beef-stew/
Second, we reduced the amounts of high carb vegetables such as onion and carrots, but left enough to ensure the taste was authentic.
Third, the pearl onions are optional and added at the end. Because I cannot eat them due to the increased carbohydrates they add, I simply do not scoop any onto my plate. Alternatively, if you prefer, just leave the pearl onions out of the recipe altogether. They do taste nice but this recipe is so amazing that it will not affect the taste of the stew, especially since they are added at the end anyway.
Fourth, I use and recommend glucomannan as a thickener, which is added at the end not at the beginning of the cooking process. I prefer glucomannan to xanthan gum because glucomannan does not have any flavor, and so does not affect the taste, and leaves the meat sauce clear and not cloudy. But you can substitute glucomannan with xanthan gum, since this is a personal preference and choice.
My last two cents: I know this seems like an overwhelming ordeal for a beef stew, but it is well worth it. The taste is much richer and more complex, and is a real crowd-pleaser. And, if you are making it just for yourself, you are worth the extra bit of effort!
If you are making it for one or two people, let the unused stew cool to room temperature and then place one meal servings (1 or 2 person portions) into individual freezer storage containers and freeze. Do not forget to label and date the containers. I always prefer to thaw both meat and prepared frozen meals in the fridge overnight, which in my opinion preserves the texture of the meat. When you are ready to serve, place in a deep pot and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. If the sauce has become too thick, simply add water a bit at a time until it is the right consistency.