From the Kitchen of Terri Bergman

Delicious French Provencal beef braised in red wine until meltingly tender and sensuously delicious!

CATEGORY: Main Event
SERVES: 4-6
LEVEL: Intermediate

INGREDIENTS; 
1/4 lb (peppered) bacon, cut into small strips
3 lbs lean stew beef
3 cups red wine (Burgundy)
1 cup beef stock
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 full orange peel, no pith
1 tsp Amazing Herbes or (2 sprigs parsley; 2 sprigs thyme [1/4 tsp if dried]; 1 sprig rosemary)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Amazing Rub
1/2 cup flour or corn starch
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

RECOMMENDED TO FINISH WITH:
2 cups tomatoes, crushed or chopped
3/4 cup black (Nicoise) olives, pitted
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 lb mushrooms sliced
1 tsp Amazing Rub (or) 1 tsp sugar

DIRECTIONS:
Place orange peel with Amazing Herbes (or create herb bouquet with orange peel, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and place in) with beef, wine, 1 onion, carrots, and garlic in a large, non-reactive bowl. Refridgerate overnight or for up to two days (or just a few hours if that is all you have!).  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Remove the beef from the marinade and set the marinade aside. Pat the beef dry and toss with flour (or corn starch) and Amazing Rub blend to coat, shaking off any excess.  Set the beef aside.

In a large frying pan, slowly cook bacon to release fat. Do not brown. Set bacon aside.  Brown the stew meat in the bacon fat over high heat. Brown the meat in batches. If you overcrowd the pan, the meat with steam and your stew will not a have a rich brown color. Add a little oil to the pan if needed. Place in a large pot with a lid.

When all of meat is browned, deglaze frying pan with 1 cup of beef stock. To deglaze; pour stock into pan and cook it while stirring to dissolve all of the good crispy stuff in the bottom of the pan. Pour over meat.

Add remaining marinade, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and reserved bacon pieces. Bring to a boil on the top of the stove and season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with a lid and place in the oven. Cook slowly for anywhere from 3-5 hours, stirring once or twice. (Or, cover and simmer over low heat on stovetop for about 2 hours, until meat is tender.)

Your dish is ready to be served! 

Or, finish with this last 30 minute step.
In a large frying pan, melt butter.  Add the onion and mushrooms and sprinkle with Amazing Rub (or sugar), saute until golden brown. Stir the tomatoes and olives into onion mixture and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Serve on individual plates in a ring of whipped Duchess Potatoes.

TRY IT! Terri adds 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar and a couple of dark chocolate squares to add shine and finish just before serving.

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