Aromatic Wine-Braised Beef
- SERVINGS: 8
Benoît Guichard is the king of braising. At his Paris restaurant, Jamin, he loves to cook all-manner of slow-cooked meats—beef, lamb, duck and veal. When you prepare this dish at home, you will be rewarded with an extraordinarily fragrant and inviting kitchen. The beef is equally delicious whether you prepare it with white wine or with red.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 pounds boneless trimmed beef chuck, cut into 8 pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 bottles dry red or white wine
- 12 shallots, quartered
- 4 carrots, quartered
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 1 large bunch of fresh parsley and several fresh bay leaves, tied together with string
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the meat in batches and brown it over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the meat as it's browned to a platter and immediately season it generously with salt and pepper.
- Add 1/2 cup of the wine to the casserole and use a metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Return all the meat to the casserole and add the shallots, carrots, onions, herb bundle, star anise, peppercorns and remaining wine. Cover with a sheet of buttered wax paper and a lid and bring the wine to a boil.
- Transfer the casserole to the oven and braise the beef for about 3 hours, or until very tender. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a platter. Strain the cooking juices, pressing on the solids; discard the solids.
- Rinse out the casserole and return the cooking juices to it. Skim off the fat. Simmer the cooking juices over moderately high heat until reduced by about one-third, about 10 minutes. Return the meat to the casserole and simmer over low heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the meat with the cooking juices in rimmed plates.
Drink the same wine you would use for braising the beef: an inexpensive Syrah, such as a French Vin de Pays d'Oc Syrah, or an Australian Shiraz. For a white wine, consider a French Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine or a California Pinot Blanc.