This dish requires marinating overnight—so leave plenty of time to make it. Best yet, make it all 2 days in advance, allowing a whole day for flavors to meld. Delicious!
Day 1: prepare marinade and marinate beef cubes, covered, overnight.
Day 2: in a large pot, sauté diced bacon till crisp. Remove and pour off all but 2 T bacon fat. Drain beef cubes and reserve marinade (discard vegetables). Turn heat up high and quickly brown beef cubes, adding more oil if needed. Remove beef and set aside.
In same pot, over medium heat, sauté onions 10 minutes till light brown (not burned). Add garlic, salt & pepper; cook 2 more minutes. Return beef cubes to pot and stir in flour; cook another 2-3 minutes, till flour is browned. Add reserved marinade (including bay leaves), beef and beef broth.
Reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, for 2 hours. Sauce should be reduced by half. Discard bay leaves. Stir in mushrooms, red currant jelly, and tomato paste. Cook another 30 minutes.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.
Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.
Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.
Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.
Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.
Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.
Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.
Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
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