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Beef in Red Wine
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Tie together with string 1 fresh bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, a 2" sprig of fresh rosemary and a 2" by 1/2" strip of orange peel. Heat some oil in a heavy skillet until very hot. Brown the beef cubes in a single layer, in batches, until dark brown on all sides. Do not stir the beef about but turn carefully with two spatulas. As the beef is browned, put the cubes in a large pot. Add the onions to the same oil, adding a little more if necessary to stop them sticking, and lower the heat under the skillet. Cook the onions until they are soft and browned - about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Pour in half the burgundy and increase the heat under the skillet to bring the liquid up to the boil. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. When most of the liquid has evaporated, add the rest of the burgundy and the stock. Bring back up to the boil. Sprinkle flour over the beef cubes and stir them around till the flour is absorbed in the beef juices. Pour on the hot wine and onions and stir very well. Add beef stock to barely cover the meat. Tuck the seasoning bundle (it's a "faggot") in amongst the meat and cover the pot with foil and then the lid. Put the pot over a very very low heat and let it simmer for at least two and a half hours, preferably three and a half. Check the liquid level from time to time, adding more stock if needed, and stir occasionally. When ready to serve, remove the faggot of herbs and check the seasoning. The onions should have dissolved completely. This stew is better served the next day, after it has been chilled and any surplus fat removed.
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