Adapted from “I Know How to Cook” by Ginette Mathiot (published @ nytimes.com)
1 tablespoon oil
3 ounces onions or shallots, chopped
3 1/2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces, patted dry
Scant 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups any type of stock, hot
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 sprigs parsley, tied together)
3 1/2 ounces mushrooms, diced
1. In a heavy pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and bacon and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove them and set aside; leave fat in pan.
2. Add beef and brown on all sides (work in two batches if needed to avoid crowding).
3. Sprinkle browned beef with flour, stir until browned and add stock. Stir, scraping bottom of pan, then add reserved bacon and onions, the wine and bouquet garni. Season with pepper.
4. Simmer very gently for 2 hours.
5. Add mushrooms and cook 30 minutes more. Season with salt and serve. Or, even better, reheat and serve the next day.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
From frozen: Thaw, heat in a crockpot at low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or let it simmer on the stovetop until heated through. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Note: We found that this recipe makes a very rich & savory sauce, so you may want to add some water when reheating in order to keep it from reducing even more and becoming stronger. Totally up to you though. J