Pinot Braised Beef

This is a far cousin of beef Strogonoff and a close one of Beef Bourguignon, but positively worth the effort for ‘one-dish’ elegant situations..

Make this dish a day or two ahead of time and the flavour gets even better. Serve with buttered, boiled potatoes (perfect for mashing into the sauce).

Serves 6 to 8.

  • 3 pounds beef stewing meat, cut in 1½-inch pieces


  • 1 750-millilitre bottle pinot noir
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Braising ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (approximately)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

Bouquet garni

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 parsley stalks
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme sprigs or 6 fresh sprigs
  • 2 leek tops, optional (as part of the bouquet garni)

For garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 12 baby onions (pearl or cipolline), blanched and peeled
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, halved

Start with marinating:

  1. Combine wine, onion, carrot, garlic, ground pepper and bay leaf in a bowl.
  2. Place meat in a dish and cover with marinade, stirring it together.
  3. Refrigerate for 12 hours. Stir occasionally, if possible.

Then we saute and roast:

  1.  Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry.
  3. Strain marinade, discarding solids.
  4. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.
  5. Add meat cubes in batches, adding more oil if necessary, and brown well on each side. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Reserve in ovenproof casserole dish.
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. (If the pan is too dry add a little more oil).
  8. Sauté for 2 minutes, stir in garlic, sauté briefly, then add flour and stir together, cooking for a minute or two.
  9. Add stock, tomato paste and bouquet garni.
  10. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  11. Pour sauce over meat and bake for 2 hours or until meat is nearly tender.
  12. Make garnish by heating butter in skillet over medium heat.
  13. Add bacon and fry until fat is rendered but meat is not crisp.
  14. Cut baby onions in half and add to skillet along with mushrooms.
  15. Sauté together for 2 minutes or until just beginning to soften.
  16. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  17. Remove bouqet garni from stew.
  18. Stir in bacon, baby onions and mushrooms.
  19. Return to oven and cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is fork tender.
  20. Taste sauce and re season if needed.

Now you can serve it, or let it cool and leave in the fridge till tomorrow.  Tomorrow I would allow it to sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature then re-heat it, covered,  in the oven. Let us say 325F for some 50 minutes? (until hot..)


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