SLOW-COOKED RED WINE BEEF STEW

This Provencal-inspired stew is full of fork-tender braised beef, hearty red wine and aromatic herbs.
When life gives you a tiny bit more time to think about the day ahead — on weekends, for example — nothing seems more luxurious than getting dinner underway hours in advance.

This Provencal-inspired stew is full of fork-tender braised beef, hearty red wine and aromatic herbs.  When life gives you a tiny bit more time to think about the day ahead — on weekends, for example — nothing seems more luxurious than getting dinner underway hours in advance.


Ingredients
  • 3 pound beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt (Diamond brand)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • Black peppercorns in a peppermill
  • 1 1/2 cups hearty red wine, such as syrah, merlot or Cotes-du-Rhone
  • 1 - 2 cups beef or chicken broth or water
  • 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs each thyme and rosemary, tied into a bundle with string
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems and tough outer layers trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Grated fresh orange zest (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.
  2. Trim the beef of excess fat and and slice into 3-inch chunks. Season the beef evenly with 2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Sear the beef in batches until browned. Remove to a platter.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pot. Cook 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until it's softened. Return the beef to the pot and sprinkle with flour. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, wine, 1 teaspoon salt and 15 turns of the pepper mill.
  5. Bring to a simmer, then add enough broth to just cover the beef. Toss in the herb bundle. Cover the pot with a sheet of parchment or foil, then top with the pot lid.
  6. Place in the oven to braise for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. The cooking liquid will be slightly reduced and the meat should fall apart when prodded with a fork.