This is as classic a French dish as bouillabaisse. Considered a stew, it can easily incorporate a bit more liquid and become a soup.
Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 35 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ lb. bacon, diced
- 3 lbs. lean stewing beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
- 3 cups beef broth, divided
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- ⅛ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 20 pearl onions
- 1 lb. fresh cremini, Portobello, or button mushrooms, quartered
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the bacon for 2 minutes to brown it slightly. With a fork, remove the bacon from pan and set it aside.
- Cut the beef into 2" cubes and pat them dry with paper towels. Heat the bacon drippings over medium heat and sauté the beef, turning it several times to brown it on all sides. Remove the beef and set it aside with the bacon.
- Add yellow onion and carrot to the same saucepan to sauté for 4 minutes. Discard the oil and bacon fat, leaving the vegetables in the pan.
- Place the bacon and beef in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or flame-proof casserole with a lid. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and flour and stir to coat. Place the dish in the oven, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Remove, stir, and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove dish from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Pour the wine and 2 cups broth into the casserole. Add garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Place the dish on the top of the stove over high heat and bring it just to a boil. Cover casserole and place it back in the oven for 2½ hours.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining broth in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the pearl onions gently in the broth for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, cooking the mixture for another 7 minutes.
- When the meat is ready, strain the casserole and discard all but 2 cups of liquid. Skim off any fat and discard the bay leaf. Place the onions and mushrooms on top, rewarm in the oven for 5 minutes, and serve.