• 3.3–4.4 lbs chuck roast, or shin (1.5–2kg)
  • 1 bottle red wine, burgundy or côte du rhone
  • 1.6 quarts beef stock, (1.5 liters)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into thick slicers
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps tomato paste
  • Bouquet Garni
    • 1 green leek leaf
    • 4 sprigs thyme
    • 2–3 bay leaves
    • 1 stalk celery
  • 14 oz. thickly sliced bacon, (400g)
  • 18 pearl onions
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 14 oz. button mushrooms, (400g), halved or quartered, or left whole if small
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • seasoning, to taste
  • 2 inch hunk baking chocolate
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, or cornstarch, diluted in 1/2 glass of cold water


1. Marination: Cut meat into 2-3 inch pieces. They shrink a bit during cooking.
Wrap herbs in leek leaf and tie into bouquet garni.
Add onions, carrots, garlic, bouquet garni, and the meat to a big container.
Drop the wine. All of it. Keep a glass for yourself, you deserve it.
Let this marinate in the fridge for 1 hour. I did it at room temperature because my studio is pretty cold.
2. The Stew: Strain the meat, pat it dry, Season with kosher salt
Sear the meat in oil and a little butter until nicely colored on both sides.
Sprinkle with a heaped tbsp of flour. Thickener.
Discard the oil.
Cook for a minute, stirring. Add 2 tsp of tomato paste for umami and colour. Then drop the wine and the stock.
Flambé safely : Don’t put your head over it, don’t do it under the kitchen hood, keep your distances.
Bring to a boil, skim the scum regularly.
3. Two cooking options: #1 the oven :
2 hours at 200°C or 400°F then a little check, then again 2 hours at 200°C

#2 the stove :
Low heat, 4 hours, the first three with a lid.

In both cases, the meat should be super soft and tender. If not, keep cooking.
4. Garnishes: Cook all three garnishes during the last hour of the stew.

Place all peeled pearl onions in a pan.
Add a knob of butter, 2 tsp sugar, a pinch of salt. Add water till they are halfway covered.
Top with a lid or with a piece of parchment paper, with a hole in the center.
About 10-15 minutes will cook and caramelize them.
When the water is gone, they should be ready (prick with a knife to see if it's soft).
If not, add water and continue. If yes, set aside.

Cut bacon into sticks: 1inch long, 1/4inch wide (lardons),
Fry them on medium heat until caramelization appears.
Remove fat (keep for cooking your next omelet).
Set aside.

Cut mushrooms into quarters, halves or leave whole if they are small.
Place them in a pan covered with a bit of beef stock.
5 minutes is all they need.
5. Finish: Add ¾ of the garnishes to the stew, one piece of dark chocolate and cook together for 30 minutes. Top plates with a little more garnishes and some fresh thyme.
Sauce should be glossy. If not you can always drop in a few knobs of cold butter off the heat, and swirl around until melted.

Piece of bread on the side and MOP AWAY !


Alex French Guy


4 servings




European : Western : French