3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 in cubes, and patted dry before cooking
5 oz thick cut bacon
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 large cloves garlic
2 tbs flour
3 1/2 cups red wine, merlot or cabernet
3 cups beef stock, homemade if possible
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1 1/2 cups fresh, cleaned pearl onions
1 1/2 pounds button or crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 tbs butter
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a heavy dutch oven or casserole over medium high heat, add the bacon and cook until browned. Remove the bacon from the pan and add 1 tbs olive oil. Add a few pieces of the beef at a time, season with salt and pepper and brown well on each side. Remove the meat and continue browning until all the meat is browned. Then add the chopped vegetables and dried herbs, brown well. Remove some of the oil and then place the beef back in the pan. Add the flour, stir well and then add 2 1/2 cups of the wine to the pan. Stir well scraping the bottom of the pan to remove all the browned bits and then add the tomato paste and the beef stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and place in the 350 degree oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the beef is very tender.
While the beef is cooking, heat 1 tbs of oil in a sauté pan to medium high heat and add the peeled pearl onions. Saute to brown the onions, then add 1/2 cup of red wine and simmer over low heat until soft. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat a sauté pan over medium high, add 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté, browning the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Reserve both the onions and mushrooms.
When the meat is tender remove the pan from the oven. Up to this part of the recipe can be done the day before, cooled and refrigerated, then finished the next day. Using a slotted spoon remove the beef and vegetables from the liquid, place in a serving casserole. Bring the liquid to a boil, skim the fat and adjust the seasonings to taste. Reduce to thicken if needed. Add the bacon, onions and mushrooms to the meat and pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables, mix well and check seasoning. I like to add a splash of red wine to the dish at this point to add some acid to the dish. Top with chopped parsley and serve.