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Beef In Red Wine

Greg treated the crew to his version of Julia Child's Zinfandel of Beef last week— what a treat!


3 to 4 pounds boneless chuck roast
olive oil
2 cups sliced onions
2/3 cup sliced carrot
5 to 6 cups liquid (red wine or a mixture of wine plus beef stock or broth)
2 or 3 large unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups chopped tomatoes (or a jar of Ugly Sauce if you're in a rush)
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt, to taste
3 T flour

Dry the meat thoroughly.

Set your skillet over moderately high heat and coat with oil.

Brown beef on each side, without crowding if you have multiple pieces, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Once browned, transfer beef to a cast iron pot. 

Skim all but a spoonful of fat out of the frying pan and add the sliced vegetables, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes before adding them to the beef.

Pour 1 cup of the wine into the frying pan, swishing and scraping up any bits, then pour into the casserole.

Add garlic and 4 more cups of liquid to the casserole.

Fold in tomatoes, thyme and salt to taste.

Bring to a simmer on top of the stove and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning and basting meat several times, until fork tender.

Pour contents of the casserole into a colander set over a saucepan; rinse the pan then return the pieces of beef to it.

Press the cooked vegetables in the colander and collect the juices in the saucepan.

Skim off any extra grease and adjust seasoning; you should have about 3 cups.

Simmer to concentrate the flavors, then pour back over the beef and add some freshly steamed  potatoes and carrots. Feel free to let the flavors meld overnight or for a few hours before serving. Alternatively, just serve the beef and sauce over a bed of mashed potatoes.