all-purpose flour seasoned with S&P for dredging
1 medium carrot diced small + 4-5 medium carrots cut on the diagonal into 2-3″ pieces
3-4 medium-sized shallots chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium sweet onion chopped
4 garlic cloves gently smashed with the broad side of a knife (just enough to release their flavor)
1 rib celery chopped
2 cups full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet or Valpolicella
4 ounces pancetta or thick-cut prosciuttio diced small (I like the 4-ounce package of Citterio diced pancetta avilable at the market)
1/4 cup tomato paste or ketchup
2 cups beef broth (Better than Boullion is the best)
a few sprigs of thyme & rosemary tied together with kitchen string
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
1 tbps honey (or truffle honey if you have it)
1 tbps unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 325. Heat about 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat in 7-quart Dutch oven. Dredge the beef cubes with seasoned flour, shake off excess, and brown in batches in the pot. Don’t let them touch, or they’ll steam rather than brown. Remove to a platter or bowl. Add a bit more olive oil if necessary and saute the chopped vegetables (not the larger pieces of carrot) and the diced pancetta, stirring often, until they soften and begin to caramelize – about 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, then add the beef broth and tomato paste or ketchup, the fresh and dried herbs, and bring to a slow boil. Add the beef and all juices in the bowl, and bake covered for 2 hours. Add large carrot pieces and the mushrooms if you’re using them, and return to oven for another 30 minutes.
At this point, meat should be quite tender. Remove all solids from the pot with a slotted spoon and reduce sauce over moderately high heat to a glossy finish, adding the tbsp of honey and butter as you do this. Return beef with it’s accumulated juices to the pot.
Can be made the day before serving. Cool and refrigerate. Reheat the next day in a 300 oven for about an hour, after letting it sit out of the fridge for an hour. Makes 8 hearty servings.