This classic meat stew derived in southern France has layers of rich and complex flavors that go on & on with each bite. The prep is a little labor intensive but completely worth it. Much like a good marinara it can be made a day in advance so the flavors have time to meld but it is not necessary.
I have made it on many occasions and have always used chuck roast but I had a combination of both chuck & stew meat on hand and found that I did not have to skim any fat off the top because the stew meat was leaner. It still had a beautiful silkiness from the chuck roast and was incredibly flavorful. If you typically do not like anchovies try not to omit them, just use a few less. If used correctly they simply add another dimension and salt to the stew.
6 lbs. chuck roast and stew meat, trimmed & cut into 1 ½” pieces
.07 oz. dried mushroom blend, rinsed
4 cups of water
2 Tbsp. course grey sea salt
3 Tbsp. course black pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
8 fresh sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 zest of orange, 3″ strips
¼ cup fresh orange juice
6 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. salt pork, rind removed
1½ lbs. of bagged baby carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
4 onions, quartered & medium slice
8 garlic cloves, slivered
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup flour
1½ bottle of full bodied red wine, Côtes-du-Rhône, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups low-sodium or no-salt beef stock
2 cups niçoise or kalamata olives, pitted & halved
6 anchovy fillets, rinsed & chopped
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. Pappardelle or wide egg noodles
Preheat oven to 300°.
Rinse mushroom blend thoroughly and place in a microwaveable bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes on high and let stand for 5 minutes to steam. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth and set over bowl. Strain liquid from mushrooms, set aside and reserve. Chop mushroom, set aside separately.
Make a bouquet garni: put thyme, bay leaves and orange zest strips on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle.
In a small bowl combine salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pat beef dry and season with mixture. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook beef in batches until deeply browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
Reduce heat to medium and add carrots, onions and salt pork. Cook until slightly browned about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste then flour, stir to combine. Slowly add red wine, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add stock, remaining water and beef. Increase heat to medium high. Add mushrooms and their liquid, orange juice, 1 cup of olives, anchovies and bouquet garni. Arrange so all beef is submerged in liquid. Cook until tender but not falling apart, 3 – 3½ hours.
20 minutes before serving remove from oven and discard bouquet garni and salt pork. Skim fat if necessary. On medium heat add tomatoes, remaining olives and half of the parsley. Stir to combine and let set for 10 minutes. Ladle into a pasta bowl and serve with Pappardelle or mashed potatoes. Garnish with remaining parsley.
2014 Delas Saint-Esprit Côtes-du-Rhône, France
Saint-Esprit is a fabulous food wine that delights the palate as well as the pocketbook. A terrific value under $15 from a 160 year old vineyard. This Syrah-Grenache blend has a deep, dark color with a plum-like hue. The nose is classic Syrah, with berry fruit, violet and spice. It has a full, rounded palate with delicate tannins, making it a unique wine in the Cotes-du-Rhône appellation.
“Perfect with Provençal style cusine” – Delas