6 oz chunk of bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil; or cooking oil
3 lb lean stewing beef; cut int 2 inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon flour
3 cup full bodied, young red wine
3 cup brown beef stock or canned beef bou; illon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 centiliter mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf; crumbled
18 small onions (18-24 of them), brown brais; ed in stock see recipe
1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed i; n butter, see recipe
Remove the rind, and cut bacon into sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long. Simmer rind and bacon for 10 mins in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Using a 9-10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep, saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 mins 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 flour. Set casserole uncovered in the middle position of preheated oven 4 mins. Toss the meat and return to the oven 4 mins more. This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust. Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
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, carrots and sliced onions. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set it in the lower third of a preheated oven. Regulate the heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 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 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 thick, boil down rapidly, if too thin mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
The recipe may be completed in advance until this point. For immediate serving, cover the casserole and simmer 2-3 mins, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve it in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsely.
For later serving, when cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15-20 mins before serving, bring to the simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 mins, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
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