Braised Beef Provençal
Total time: 5 hours 45 minutes broken into 3 stages:
Night before: 10 minutes; Afternoon of: 25 minutes; Baking time: 5 hours plus 10 minutes to finish
This is one of those long-cooking dishes that I love doing during the winter. It has a bit of bacon and sautéed carrots added, to give it its own unique flavors. The leftovers will be tossed with pasta for another dinner.
- 24oz (720gr) beef, suitable for braising or stewing a roast would work to get large pieces
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 bouquet garni you can buy these ready made in little sachets in the spice section
- 2 - 3 cups (16 - 24oz, 480 - 720ml) red wine a hearty, robust wine, drinkable
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 3oz (90gr) bacon, 3 - 4 strips
- 5 medium - large carrots
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
- pinch nutmeg
- 3 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs water
- The night before or early in the day:
- Trim beef and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) cubes. Put into a deep bowl or sauce pan.
- Peel the onion and garlic.
- Cut the onion in half and stick two cloves into each half.
- Add to the beef along with the garlic and bouquet garni.
- Add the vinegar and 2 - 3 cups of red wine, enough to cover the beef.
- The afternoon of:
- Take the meat out of the marinade and let drain, reserving all of the marinade.
- Peel carrots and slice into 1/4 inch (.65cm) rounds.
- Cut bacon into matchsticks.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté until golden and caramelized, 10 - 12 minutes, turn once using two forks or tongs. Remove carrots and set aside.
- Add bacon to skillet and sauté until crisp. Remove and set aside.
- Add beef and brown on all sides.
- In a heavy baking dish (casserole), preferably deep, lay bacon on the bottom.
- Put the beef on top and surround the beef with the carrots.
- Pour the reserved marinade over all, along with the onion, garlic, bouquet garni and beef stock.
- Put a sheet of oiled, waxed paper over the pot and put the lid on top.
- Bake for 5 hours at 350F (175C).
- Check it every 2 hours or so to make sure it's not drying out - if it is, add more wine.
- To finish:
- Remove from oven. With slotted spoon take everything out of the sauce and put on a small platter. Cover with the lid or foil to keep warm.
- Discard bouquet garni and cloves.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring until thickened. You probably won't need all of it so stop periodically and let it cook to test consistency.
- Spoon some of the sauce over the beef and carrots, serve the remainder on the side. Serve.
Note: If your baking dish is not appropriate for the cook top put the red wine sauce into a small saucepan before thickening.