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8 oz. sliced bacon, about 10 slices
1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 lb. boneless beef chuck cut into 1" cubes
2 c. dry red wine, preferably burgundy
1 (13-14 oz.) can beef broth
1 bay leaf
12 sm. white onions
2 lg. carrots, cut into 1" chunks, about 2 c.
20 sm. mushrooms, about 2 c.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Buttered noodles, optional

In large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. With slotted spoon remove and drain bacon on paper towels; set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings into heat-proof cup or bowl, reserve.

In large plastic bag combine 1/2 cup flour, the salt and pepper. Add beef in flour batches and shake. Remove beef from bag, shake gently to remove excess flour. Pour 2 tablespoons reserved drippings into another large skillet. Over medium high heat, cook beef in 2 batches in both skillets 7-10 minutes, until brown. Do not crowd skillets or beef will not brown.

Transfer beef to 5-6 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, add wine, broth and bay leaf. Add water to cover, if necessary. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours.

In skillet cook onions, carrots and mushrooms over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Add vegetables to beef along with reserved bacon, garlic and thyme. Simmer 30 minutes or until beef is very tender. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. Remove fat from surface of sauce with spoon.

In small bowl mix 1/3 cup water with remaining 3 tablespoons flour until thoroughly blended Stir in 1/4 cup sauce into flour mixture, add flour mixture to beef in sauce pot, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth and thick; set aside. Add remaining beef to sauce. Serve over buttered noodles if desired. Serves 4.

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