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Once again, I am going to write about a recipe I read in “Lunch in Paris” by Elizabeth Bard. I read the book last year and since I came upon this recipe I have wanted to try it. Now that I have a Dutch oven it was time. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be but there is a lot to the recipe. I’ll begin with the ingredients.

Braised Beef with Red Wine, Garlic, and Thyme

4 pounds rump or chuck roast, cut into 6 pieces.
1 marrow bone
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
6 large shallots, whole
6 large cloves of garlic, whole
1 carrot, chopped
Zest of 1/2 navel orange, peeled in two long strips
One 16 ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 cup of full-bodied red wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 bouquet garni (6 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 8 sprigs of thyme, tied with a string)
4 carrots, halved
12 cremini or button mushrooms (I will admit I didn’t include this in my recipe as Angie hates mushrooms and I am not really a fan myself)

I like to prepare ahead of time, get all the ingredients in one spot, that way I am not overwhelmed trying to get everything ready while trying to brown the meat, etc. Chop one carrot, halve the other 4. Remove paper from around shallots and chop off root ends. Cut the beef into 6 pieces. Peel the zest of 1/2 navel orange (2 long strips).

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In Dutch oven, brown meat and marrow bone on all sides, add generous amounts of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. This will take on average 15-20 minutes. Once browned, remove from Dutch oven and set aside.

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Add olive oil, garlic, chopped carrot, shallots and orange zest, cook until softened (it was about 15 minutes for me).

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Return meat and bone to pot and add tomatoes (with the juice). I recommend crushing the tomatoes between your fingers before you add them. Add wine and broth. Add the bouquet and simmer.

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Cover and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat and cook for another 1 1/2 hours. Add the carrots and mushrooms (if you choose to add them) and cook for another 40 minute, until the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is fork tender. Once I put the carrots in Angie and I both tried a bite of the meat and it was incredible. Once it is done discard the bouquet garni and serve the beef surrounded by vegetables. I made garlic mashed potatoes to go with it along with some freshly baked bread.

This was seriously amazing. The meat just fell apart around my fork. No need for a knife (I would honestly be offended if somebody asked for a knife!) My brother, Bill, is an incredible cook. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything bad that he has made and even Angie said tonight my beef stew was better than his! That’s a great compliment! I had a lot of fun making this recipe. I think Angie was a little scared (the list of ingredients was a bit daunting I think) but it really was very easy and the end result made up for any (little) stressing I did about it!

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