Cook Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
1.5kg diced beef stewing steak
1 & 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
125g bacon or pancetta, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp flour
350ml Burgundy or similar red wine
350ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
100g shallots or pearl onions, halved
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 248F (120 C / Gas 1). Place the beef in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Fry bacon in a large pan for about 7 minutes over a medium heat. Keep the bacon and the bacon fat separate. Place a casserole on the cooker, set heat to high and heat 2 tablespoons of bacon dripping in it. Sear half of the beef on all sides for about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan, heat 2 more tablespoons bacon fat and fry the remaining beef well and remove from the pan.
2. Fry the onions in the same casserole for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds. Stir in the flour, reduce the heat stir for another 1-2 minutes, until the flour has assumed some color. Now add the wine and scrape the bottom of the casserole well so the flavour of the wine can be absorbed. Add stock, bay leaves and thyme, increase the temperature slightly and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and the bacon and bring to a simmer again (but do not let boil). Cover with a lid and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 to 2.5 hours, leave until the meat is almost fully cooked through.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon bacon fat in a frying pan and fry the shallots for 5-10 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned. Don't stir too much, to avoid breaking them apart. When the beef is almost done, add the shallots. Once again, cover and braise for another 20-30 minutes in the oven. Stir in parsley and bay leaves. If necessary, season to taste again with salt and pepper.