|Prep Time:||1 hr|
|Cook Time:||3 hrs|
- 6 oz chunk of bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 lb lean stewing beef cut into 2 in. cubes
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 cups full-boided, young red wine, e.g., Chianti, Pinot Noir
- 2-3 cups brown beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 18-24 pearl onions, peeled
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup brown stock, canned beef bouillon, or dry white or red wine
- medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 to 2 tbsp minced shallots or green onions (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 in thick and 1 1/2 in long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 min in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 min to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you saute the beef.
- Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Saute it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
- In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat.
- Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle portion of preheated oven for 4 min. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 min more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 F.
- Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. 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 hrs. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
- When the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
- In a 9- to 10 in enameled skillet, bring the butter and oil to a bubble, then add the onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 min, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break the skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.
- Braise the onions by pouring in the brown stock, canned beef bouillon or dry white or red wine, adding in the herb bouquet.
- Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 min until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove herb bouquet.
- Serve onions as they are, or add to stew (see below).
- Place a 10 in enameled skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 min.
- During their saute the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 min the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as thye have browned lightly, remove from the heat.
- Toss the shallots or green onions with the mushrooms. Saute over moderate heat for 2 min.
- When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
- 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 min, 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 min before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 min, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.