Estouffade Provençale pour tante Jeanette
- 1.25 kg stewing steak, cubed
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 3 bulbs garlic, or to taste, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small sticks
- Seasoning, to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons herbes de provence
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 750 ml bottle red wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- Olives (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the steak, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, seasoning, herbes de provence and bay leaves and pour the red wine over it.
- Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- When ready, strain the meat and vegetable mixture thoroughly from the liquid, reserving the wine for later.
- Heat the oil in a deep stewpan until it is very hot, but not smoking.
- Add the meat and vegetables and allow them to cook until the meat is brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the heat to low.
- In the meantime, slightly heat the wine and add to the meat mixture.
- Return the stew to the heat and add the tinned tomatoes.
- Simmer, covered, over a low heat until the meat is tender. This should take about 3 hours or more.
- Once cooked, allow the stew to cool and then refrigerate again for at least 12 hours or until about 45 minutes before you are ready to serve.
- Remove as much of the fat, that will have solidified on the surface, as possible.
- Place the pan on a medium heat and add the olives, if using. Ad some beef stock if there is too little liquid left.
- Heat through for about 15 minutes, remove the bay leaves and serve.
There are many recipes for this, but they all have the same main ingredients. You can, of course, vary quntities to your own preference and if you find that a whole bottle of wine is not to your taste, then you can substitute some of it for beef stock. In fact, using a whole bottle of wine can overpower the stew, so unless you like particularly winey food, I would go for half wine and half stock. Alternatively, just use the wine for the marinade, throw it away and then use 100% beef stock for cooking in.
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