Aromatic Beef in Red Wine

Aromatic Beef in Red Wine

3 lb / 1.4 kg lean beef, cut into 2" pieces
2 large onions, sliced
1 1/2 tbs ground allspice
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
8 bay leaves, divided
2 tbs dried oregano
1 1/4 pints/725 ml dry red wine
2 rashers lean bacon finely diced
4 fl oz/125 ml olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb/ 675 g small boiling onions, peeled
1 1/2 oz/45g plain flour plus extra for dredging
2 lb/ 900g ripe tomatoes, diced and juices reserved
1 tsp honey
3" cinnamon stick
4 fl oz/125 ml meat stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 oz olives pitted and chopped

Combine meat, onions, allspice, garlic, 4 of bay leaves, 1 tbs of oregano, and red wine in a large bowl. Cover and set aside in a cool place for 2-4 hours or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas1.

Sauté bacon in its own fat in a large frying pan for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a large casserole dish. Add half olive oil to frying pan and sauté boiling onions until lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Remove meat from marinade, reserving marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Lightly dredge with flour, shake off excess. Add 3 tbs of remaining olive oil in frying pan and sauté half meat until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to casserole dish and repeat with remaining meat.

Bring marinade to a boil in a pan and then simmer until reduced by about one third. Strain marinade through a sieve into frying pan and discard solids. Bring to boil stirring well. Add reduced marinade, tomatoes, honey, cinnamon, stock salt and pepper, remaining bay leaves and 1 tbs oregano to casserole dish. Mix everything together well.

Place foil over casserole dish and then put on a tight fitting lid so as little steam escapes as possible. After 2 1/2 hours, add onions.

If there is more than about 12 fl oz sauce leave casserole uncovered. If less, add a little water or stock and bake for 30 minutes longer.

Bring a small pan of water to boil. Add olives, leave to stand for 5 minutes and then drain and rinse and add to casserole.

Chop parsley, capers, garlic and lemon zest together. Arrange meat and onions on a large plate, spoon over sauce and then sprinkle with parsley mixture.

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