Cocoa Beef Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup diced yellow onions
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups veal or beef stock, at room temperature
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound small (golf ball size) new potatoes, quartered
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Set a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and season the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the Essence and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned beef, in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned beef to a large plate or bowl and set aside.
Add the butter to the pan and, once melted, add the mushrooms and saute until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the pan and cook until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the veal stock, tomato paste, cocoa powder, thyme, oregano, basil, allspice, and browned meat to the pan and bring stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook the stew for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, add the potatoes, carrots and celery and continue to cook the stew for another 45 minutes. Add the pearl onions, stir to combine, and cook the stew for a final 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and parsley, cook for 5 minutes longer and serve.