This recipe is from the late Juliia Child. It’s one of the classic French dishes she featured on her first cooking show on PBS, The French Chef. If I’m not mistaken, this was the first she actually featured on that show produced by Russell Morash, the same producer who today, gives PBS audiences “This Old House”, “Ask This Old House” and “Find!”
I’ve had it before in restaurants but never cooked it at home. It’s not so difficult. The resulting dish is good enough to surprise you and make you wonder if you cooked it yourself. And the leftovers are just excellent. The success of this dish, will depend on the wine you use in my opinion. I am currently using a Merlot for cooking and like its smoky flavor.
Recipe to follow, soon as I recover from this cold I picked up….
My apologies for posting this so late. I’ve been busy with so many things and that’s why I got the bad cold in the first place!
This recipe is from the 40th Anniversary Edition of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, authored by the late Julia Child and co-written with Luisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. It’s suggested you serve this with boiled potaoes, buttered noodles or steamed rice. She also suggest buttered peas as a vegetable side dish.
6-oz. chunk of bacon, cut in sticks 1/4 x 1.5 in.
1.5 qts. water
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. flour
3 c. of a full-bodied, young red wine such as Chianti (I used a smoky Merlot)
2 to 3 c. brown beef stock or beef bouillon
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
a crumbled bay leaf
the blanched bacon rind
18 t 24 small white onions braised in stock (I served this separately with the buttered peas)
1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms in butter
Preheat oven to 450F. In a 9-10 inch deep fireproof casserole or heavy-bottomed pan, saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown slightly. Remove to a side dish.
Dry the beef in paper towels. Saute in the hot casserole, a few pieces at a time so it browns nicely on all sides. Set aside with the bacon.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot 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 position of oven for about 4 minutes. (Careful with the hot pan!)Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. This step ensures the meat is coated with a light crust. Remove casserole and turn down heat to 325F.
Stir in the wine, and enough stock so the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and the bacon rind if you have it. Bring to simmer on the stove. Then cover your casserole or pan (use foil if your lid is not oven-proof) and set in lower third rack of your oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2.5-3 hours. My pot was very efficient and 300F was just right. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and returnthe beef and bacon into it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushroom. NOTE: I only put in the mushrooms and served the onions mixed with buttered peas.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2.5 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If it’s too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablesppons stock or even water. Taste for seasoning. I added more salt, pepper and thyme – love thyme! Serve with potatoes, noodles or rice.
This recipe serves 6.