8 ounces bacon, cut into thin, crosswise strips
3 pounds beef round or tri-tip, or other boneless lean beef, trimmed of excess fat and cut into1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
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Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
About 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy, Pinot Noir or Australian Shiraz
About 2 cups beef broth, reduced-sodium preferred
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf 1 pound pearl onions, unpeeled
3 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
Optional garnish: fresh chives
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
In large ovenproof Dutch oven, cook bacon on medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve. Pour off and reserve fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in pot. Add beef (as many cubes as will fit without crowding pot). It is best to brown in several batches. Brown the beef on all sides. Remove meat and add more, again being careful not to crowd pot; add more drippings if needed. Repeat until all meat is browned.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To same pot, add about 1 tablespoon of drippings. Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Season beef with salt and pepper and sprinkle with flour. Add meat to onion and saute until flour is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Carefully pour in wine (it may splatter) and broth. There should be enough liquid to barely cover beef. If necessary, add a little more broth. Stir in tomato sauce and herbs. Bring to boil, cover and place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add a little more wine or broth if stew becomes too dry.
Meanwhile, cut small X in root end of each pearl onion. Drop onions into pot of boiling water. Return to boil and cook 5 minutes. Drain onions and rinse with cold water. Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel and reserve.
In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
When stew has finished cooking and meat is tender, stir in reserved bacon, pearl onions and mushrooms; heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle each portion with minced parsley and garnish with chives, if using. Serve with rice or rustic mashed potatoes or egg noodles.