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Classic Beef Braise
Makes 8


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large ovensafe saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté bacon until fat starts to render. Add carrots, celery and onions and cook until vegetables are tender and fragrant, 5 to 7 min. Remove bacon and vegetables with a slotted spoon and reserve. Discard bacon fat.

2 In shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper to taste. Dredge beef in flour mixture until lightly coated. Shake off excess.

3 Add canola oil to saucepan and heat on medium-high. Add beef and lightly brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove beef from saucepan and add broth, 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water, wine and tomato paste. Whisk to blend. Return the beef to the pan along with the bacon, vegetables, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary. Cover tightly and braise in the oven for 1 hour.

4 Meanwhile, to peel the pearl onions, bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the onions for 30 sec., remove with slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain onions, cut off the roots, make a vertical slit, and slip off the skin. Add the pearl onions to the braise, and cook for 1 more hour. Remove lid and allow meat to brown for 20 min.

5 Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig, then divide meat and vegetables among 8 plates. Skim fat from sauce in pan, then spoon 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) of sauce overtop the meat and vegetables and serve.

  • 2 bacon strips, cut into large dice
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 lb (1 kg) lean stewing beef, cut into 2-in. (5 cm) pieces
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup (250 mL) red or white pearl onions