- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 ounce)
- 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
- 1 cup drained cornichons, halved lengthwise
- 1/3 cup drained capers
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- Bouquet garni: 6 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied with string
- One 750-milliliter bottle dry white wine
- 4 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Buttered noodles, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 275°. In a large microwave-safe bowl, cover the porcini with water. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and coarsely chop the mushrooms.
- In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the beef, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cornichons, capers, herbs de Provence, bouquet garni and porcini. Add the wine and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole. Transfer it to the oven and braise until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to a deep platter and cover with foil. Discard the bouquet garni. Skim as much fat off of the liquid as possible.
- Set the casserole over high heat and boil the braising liquid until reduced to 5 cups, about 30 minutes. Return the meat and vegetables to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until heated through. Serve the beef stew over buttered noodles.
Though this stew is made with white wine, the rich, earthy beef and porcini will pair better with a wine that has a bit more substance. Provence is one of the world's greatest regions for rosé wines; Provençal rosés are typically made from robust grape varieties such as Syrah and Grenache, and have a juicy fruitiness that's balanced by crisp acidity. Look for the lively Château Routas Rouvière Rosé or the cherry-scented Bieler Père et Fils Sabine Rosé.