Beef, red wine, pancetta, carrots, onions, mushrooms…classic French Fare…delicious in its simplicity…enough said.

Ingredients

  • 750ml red wine ( Pinot Noir is perfect)
  • 1 onion, quatered
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small handful thyme on the stalk
  • small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 200g pancetta, cut into thick cubes
  • 250g button mushrooms
  • 250g small onions, peeled but left whole (halved if they’re quite large)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
  • 1,2 kg beef chuck steak, on the bone, trimmed and cut into large chunks
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 500 mls chicken stock
  • 1 cup flour
  • salt and pepper

 Method

Preheat the oven to 150°c

  1. Start by placing the wine, herbs, onions, carrots, garlic and bay into a saucepan over a medium high heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently whilst you get on with the rest of the meal
  2. In a large saucepan with a heavy lid ( make sure it fits in your oven) melt a large knob of butter with a dash of olive oil and brown the pancetta until crispy and has rendered it’s fat. Remove the crispy pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside
  3. Next sauté the mushrooms and carrots in the bacon fat for about 10 minutes until softened and starting to colour, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
  4. Add more olive oil if necessary and add the onions, cooking for a further 10 minutes until caramalised around the edges. remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
  5. Take the wine off the heat now, strain and discard the aromatics
  6. Place the flour in a large shallow dish and season well. Coat the chunks of chuck steak evenly in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess
  7. Brown the meat in the bacon fat in batches ensuring you get a  lovely golden colour on the chunks of beef, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
  8. When you have browned all the meat, turn up the heat and deglaze the bottom of the saucepan with the brandy, it will sizzle and spit so be careful. Use  a wooden spoon to scrape all the lovely bits stuck to the bottom of the saucepan, thats where the flavour is. Reduce slightly and then add the strained wine as well as the stock
  9. Now return all of your ingresients to the saucepan, cover tightly and place in the oven for 3.5 – 4 hours
  10. Serve this meltingly tender stew with rice, mash or, my favourite, buttered noodles