From Laura Grimmer at The Perfect Pear
4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 lb. stew beef, cut into 1-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. flour (or gluten-free equivalent)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bottle dry red wine
1-2 bay leaves
Thyme (fresh or dry)
6 parsley stalks
6 black peppercorns
Roux and lemon juice (as needed)
Frozen pearl or Cipollini onions
Button mushrooms, quartered
1. Cook bacon over medium heat to crispy. Drain and reserve bacon grease for sautéing. Reserve bacon for garnish. Reserve 2 T. bacon fat.
2. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Sauté in batches in bacon fat (or add canola oil as needed) over high heat. Remove to drain. Repeat as needed to brown without crowding the pan.
3. Return beef to pan. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes more.
4. De-glaze pan with half-bottle of wine, scraping bottom to loosen browned bits.
5. Add 1-2 c. chicken stock and any remaining wine as necessary to almost cover beef. Wrap smashed garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme, parsley stalks and peppercorns in cheesecloth to prepare a bouquet garni. Add to pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
6. Cover with a parchment lid and partially cover with the pot lid. Simmer (just bubbling) for 1½-2 hours, or until the meat is fully cooked and easily pierced with a knife.
7. Meanwhile, quarter the mushrooms and sauté them in the reserved bacon fat. When meat is nearly cooked, add mushrooms and pearl onions. Continue to simmer until the meat is cooked and onions are heated through.
8. If the liquid needs to be thickened: Remove the meat from the pot and spoon a bit of the liquid over top and cover with foil. Heat the liquid in a large saucepan and let it simmer until reduced to your desired consistency. You can also make a roux (equal parts butter + flour) to thicken. Add a few drops of lemon juice, if needed, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Return meat to pot until heated through.
9. Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles. Garnish with reserved bacon and chopped fresh parsley.