This is why I bought a slow cooker.
When I made this in the US it was always good and one of our favorite winter dishes. The recipe for Braised Beef Provençal
I have not been able to get it right on this side of the pond.
If I used the cheap cuts, for stewing, they never got tender enough; if I used better cuts they were dry.
Mon mari decided we would no longer eat beef – except for prime steaks in summer, of course.
But I like beef…..
So I bought the slow cooker.
I was right.
This was the best Beef Provençal I’ve ever made.
Plus the whole house smelled wonderful!
Slow Cooker Beef Provençal
Total time: 9 hours
plus marinating time
- 24oz (720gr) beef, suitable for braising or stewing (a roast could work to get large pieces)
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 bouquet garni you can buy these ready made in little sachets in the spice section
- 2 – 3 cups (16 – 24oz, 480 – 720ml) red wine a hearty, robust wine, drinkable
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 3oz (90gr) bacon, cut into matchsticks
- 5 medium – large carrots, sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
- pinch nutmeg
- 3 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 3 tbs water
- The night before:
- Trim beef and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) cubes. Put into a deep bowl .
- Stick two cloves into each onion half.
- Add to the beef along with the garlic and bouquet garni.
- Add the vinegar and 2 – 3 cups of red wine, enough to cover the beef.
- 9 – 10 hours before:
- Take the meat out of the marinade and let drain, reserving all of the marinade.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until crisp. Remove and put into the slow cooker
- Add carrots to skillet; sauté until golden and caramelized, 10 – 12 minutes, turning once using two forks or tongs. Remove carrots and set aside.
- Add beef and brown on all sides. Put on top of bacon.
- Add carrots around the edges of the beef.
- Add some of the reserved marinade to the skillet and de-glaze the pan. Add to beef..
- Add the beef stock, onion, garlic, bouquet garni and enough of the reserved marinade to just barely cover the beef.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours.
- To finish:
- Remove onion and bouquet garni.
- Add cornstarch mixture to sauce, turn cooker to high, cover and let cook another 15 – 30 minutes, until sauce has thickened. You may not want all of it – depending on how much wine you used.Use 1 tbs cornstarch for every 1 – 1 1/2 cups of liquid…..
The carrots are fried just long enough to give them some color and caramelize some of the sugars for this dish. But they’re so good I often fix them this way for a side dish – frying them until tender, about 20 minutes total time.
Now I have to do kitchen inventory…. We’re going to the big city tomorrow, and that means the Asian Supermarket. Must get my list done.
It would help if I could read the labels.
Some are in Chinese and English – those are easy.
Some are in Vietnamese and French – those are also easy…. usually.
It’s the ones that are in Vietnamese and Japanese or Chinese and Thai that I have a hard time with.
That’s all part of the fun. And we get to have lunch to have at the Chinese / Vietnamese / Thai / Japanese / Indian buffet.