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Williams-Sonoma Home! Williams-Sonoma: Cooks' Network

PROVENÇALE BRAISED BEEF CASSEROLE

Serves: 6

Can be prepared 2 days ahead.
The leftover meat is also delicious served cold the next day with a green salad.

5 ounces pork, back fat sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 1/2 pounds braising beef such as top round or top sirloin
MARINADE:
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 tomato, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bouquet Garni
20 peppercorns, crushed
3 cups dry red wine
3 tablespoons Cognac

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 ounces bacon, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
salt
6 ounces black olives, preferably Niçoise or Kalamata, stoned .

Cut the back fat into small strips 3 mm (1/8 inch) wide and 2.5 cm (1 inch) long.
Make deep incisions all over the surface of the beef and insert the back fat.
Prepare the marinade: combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a non-aluminium container.
Immerse the beef in the liquid and drizzle the olive oil over the surface. Leave to marinate for at least 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade reserving the vegetables and bouquet garni; drain well. Reserve the marinade.
Heat the vegetable oil in a flameproof casserole over high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides.
Remove the meat from the pan; set aside. Add the diced bacon to the pan and brown it.
Then add the reserved vegetables and cook until golden. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the marinade and stir to blend. Return the meat to the pan, along with the tomatoes, the bouquet garni and a pinch of salt. Add a little water if necessary to cover the meat.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and place in the oven for about 3 hours, turning the meat every hour, until it is very tender when pierced with the point of a knife.
Do not allow the liquid to boil. If the olives are salty, simmer in water for 2 minutes.
Drain and refresh under cold water. When the meat is tender, remove it from the pan and cover with a warm damp tea towel, to prevent it from drying out.
Discard the bouquet garni. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. Add the olives to the pan and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly. Adjust the seasoning.
To serve, carve the beef into thin slices. Arrange overlapping slices on a deep serving platter.
Spoon the vegetables and sauce over the beef.


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