Slow-cooked in dark stock, red wine and beer, fork-tender pieces of beef and perfectly-cooked vegetables are surrounded by a rich and full-flavored gravy.
To start, cut the stewing meat into 1 to 2" -inch cubes. Place into a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with red wine and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To prepare your mise en place, cut the onions into large dice. Cut the celery and carrots into about 1" -inch chunks. Peel and cut the potatoes into eighths. Mince the garlic and measure out the flour and tomato paste. Gather the beer, red wine, stock, bouquet garni and bacon.
First, preheat your oven to 250º degrees Fahrenheit (120º Celsius).
To brown the meat, first drain it from the marinade (discard the marinade). Pat the meat dry with paper towel and then season it liberally with salt and pepper.
Next, preheat a stainless-steel pan over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear the meat on all sides, being careful not to burn the sucs. Brown the bacon as well. Transfer each batch of seared meat to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add more oil to the pan, as needed, to obtain nice, even browning.
Once the meat has been browned, add more oil to the pan (if needed) and brown the onions. Add a pinch of salt to help bring out their moisture.
Once the onions have browned, add the garlic and fry until fragrant, but not browned. Next, singer (sprinkle) with the flour and stir together. Let cook for about a minute and then add the tomato paste (if using). Cook for another minute or so and then deglaze with the beer. Once a thick, smooth consistency has been reached, pour the mixture into the stewing pot.
Deglaze the pan again with the red wine to clean off any remaining bits from the pan. Pour into the pot and stir to combine.
Next, add the cut up vegetables. Top up with enough stock to almost cover all of the ingredients. Tuck the bouquet garni under the surface and bring the stew to a gentle simmer on the stove top.
Once the stew comes to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Let cook for 1 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
Once the meat is fork-tender, thicken the sauce, if needed. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and vegetables from the pot and set aside.
Make a slurry by stirring the flour and cold water together until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add the slurry, a bit at a time, until you reach the desired consistency (let the sauce come back up to a simmer each time before adding more). The sauce should lightly coat a spoon.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the meat and vegetables back into the pot and gently fold everything together.
At this point, the stew can be served; however, to give the flavors time to mature and infuse into each other, chill in the refrigerator overnight. To do this, cool the stew over an ice bath before refrigerating.
To reheat the stew, simply place the pot into a preheated, 200-250º degrees Fahrenheit (or 95-120º Celsius) oven. Once the stew has fully heated through, it can be served. Just remember, you can experience the most flavor when the dish is not served piping hot.