This is one of our favorite recipes. It’s time-consuming to prepare, but absolutely delicious. The ingredients:
- Beef, 3 pounds, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Bacon, thick-cut, 6-8 slices
- Red wine, 2 cups, divided
- Onions, 2 medium, thinly sliced
- Carrots, 4 medium, diced
- Celery, 3 stalks, diced
- Mushrooms, 1 pound, quartered
- Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
- Tomato paste, 1 tablespoon (or more, if you don’t want to waste the rest)
- Chicken broth, 1-2 cups
- Thyme, 3-4 sprigs, fresh
- Bay leaf, 1
You may also want to serve with paste, or a baguette, or with chopped parsley to garnish.
The first step is to chop up the bacon, and fry it, like so:
Remove the bacon from the pan – you’ll add it later. And remove most of the bacon grease as well; leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
Prepare your beef with as much salt and pepper as you prefer.
Then begin to sear the cubes in batches. Don’t crowd the meat, and be sure to let it char a bit before you dislodge it. You’re not actually trying to cook it thoroughly; instead, you’re simply searing it in the bacon fat.
Once you’re done with a batch, put the cubes in your slow cooker.
Add a bit of the wine to the pan, a quarter cup each time, to dislodge and scrape off whatever bits of meat may remain, pour/scrape those into the slow cooker, as well. Continue until all the beef is prepared.
Next, prepare your carrots, celery, and onion.
Fry the onion in some more of the bacon grease until it’s browned, and then add in the carrots and the celery; cook until soft.
Then add in a few more ingredients – the garlic and the tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, and then add the whole mixture to the slow cooker.
Make sure the pan is clean, and then add more of the bacon grease; add the mushrooms when it’s warm, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (to help release the liquid from the mushrooms). Cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Then set the mushrooms aside – you’ll add them later, just like the bacon.
As for the stuff in the slow cooker, you slow cook it. Covered, on low, for 8 hours or so. Before you do, add in a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf, and the sprigs of thyme. Also pour in the rest of the wine and the chicken broth; the liquid should come about three-quarters of the way to the top of the ingredients.
Then, in 6-8 hours, mix in the mushrooms and the bacon, and enjoy (perhaps with pasta or good bread). It’s delicious!