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Author Notes: This is such a classic dish, I adapted a recipe from the great Julia Child, simplifying a bit but still maintaining the integrity. It is elegant comfort food, rich and flavorful. I made it for a dinner party and the beauty is that it can be made ahead and simply heated the day of the party and it's actually better when you let it sit overnight. This was one of my favorite meals that I made this year. —sdebrango
- 1 whole head of garlic top cut off exposing the cloves
- 3 1/2 pounds chuck roast cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 thick slices of fatty bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2-3 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups good red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- 12 pearl onions peeled
- 12 baby or young carrots, peeled, top of stem cleaned and left on
- 12 ounces white button mushrooms cleaned and left whole
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre heat oven to 350 degree's. Drizzle olive oil on garlic head and wrap in foil. Place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until it is soft, Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes Squeeze the soft garlic out and set aside.
- Fry the bacon until browned, with slotted spoon remove bacon place in container and refrigerate. Pour out all but about 2 tbs of the drippngs reserving as it will be used later; On high heat brown or sear the meat, don't over crowd the meat you will have to fry in batches. Set the cooked meat aside. Lower the heat to medium add the onion and carrot and fry until softened, add the flour and cook stirring constantly for a few minutes. Put the beef back in and add the tomato paste stirring to combine, add the herbs, bay leaves, roasted garlic and wine and simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour in the beef stock and simmer covered for 1 1/2-2 hours or until tender, remove herb sprigs and bay leaves. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Note: You may want to fry extra bacon so that you have enough of the drippings for the stew. Use 4 for the recipe and with the rest, enjoy cooks reward.
- Heat the oven to 375 degree's. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Put the pearl onions and carrots in a bowl, pour some of the bacon fat on the them and with your clean hands toss them in the fat so they are coated. Arrange on the sheet pan, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until they are tender. Remove from the oven place in container when cooled and refrigerate.
- When you are ready to serve, heat the oven to 200 degree's place 1/3 of the carrots and onions in to warm. In skillet add the remaining bacon drippings and saute the mushrooms, remove a few of the mushrooms and place them in the oven with the carrots and onions. Place the beef on medium low flame uncovered and when heated through add the remaining 2/3 of the carrots,onions mushrooms and bacon. Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes uncovered adding a little stock or wine if it becomes too thick. Adjust seasoning. Serve on a platter, arrange the rest of the onion,mushrooms and carrots on the stew.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year