Oct 312011

•       2 pounds lean stew beef
•       1 cup red wine (marinade)
•       3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (sauce)
•       4 sprigs fresh parsley
•       1 sprig fresh thyme
•       1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
•       6 ounces bacon
•       4 tablespoons butter
•       1 onion, sliced
•       1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
•       1 tablespoon tomato paste
•       2 garlic cloves, pressed (you may choose to add more)
•       3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (sauce)
•       1/4 cup beef broth
•       salt and ground black pepper to taste
•       2 tablespoons butter
•       4 ounces bacon, chopped
•       12 small onions
•       4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

1.      In a medium bowl, combine beef, wine, parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
Let marinate for 3 hours.
2.      Remove beef; strain. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large heavy
casserole (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Sauté the
sliced onion until tender. Remove onions and add bacon to pot. Simmer
bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove bacon from pot and add in beef, and cook
until evenly brown. Do not cook too much at a time or browning will be
difficult. Remove beef and set aside. Add flour to pan, and cook,
stirring, until brown. Slowly stir in the wine making sure to get all
the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot. Now enough stock or
bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste,
garlic, herbs, and bacon. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then
cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate
heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is
done when a fork pierces it easily.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off
additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce
thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down
rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned
bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat
and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3
minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded
with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20
minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very
slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables
with the sauce.

3.      While the beef is cooking or the day you plan to serve, prepare the
onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.  Heat 2 tablespoons
butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the small
onions, and sauté until onions are tender. Add mushrooms, and continue
cooking until mushrooms are golden brown. Serve as a garnish.


Table and Wine Suggestions

Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered
noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green
vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the
beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Côtes
du Rhône, Bordeaux-St. Émilion, or Burgundy.

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