An earthy, southern French-style stew is the perfect main course to match a gamut of red blends of southern French grapes. Serve it over hot buttered noodles, garnished with fresh thyme.
Sunset MARCH 2011
1. Mix beef, thyme, orange peel strips, salt, pepper, and wine in a bowl. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally, at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Bring 2 cups beef broth to a boil and pour over porcini in a bowl. Let stand until mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Lift mushrooms out and coarsely chop. Reserve soaking liquid.
3. Meanwhile, pour beef and marinade into a strainer set over a bowl. Discard thyme sprigs and orange peel strips; reserve marinade. Dry beef on paper towels.
4. Cook pancetta in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon. Add beef in batches and cook, turning pieces, until well browned all over, 7 to 8 minutes per batch. If you need more fat in the pot, add oil between batches. Transfer beef to a large bowl as browned. Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl.
5. Return pancetta and beef to pot and add reserved marinade, mushroom-soaking liquid (pour in carefully, leaving sediment behind), and mushrooms. Liquid should just cover meat; add a little more broth if necessary. Cover and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Add the shallots and grated orange peel and continue simmering, uncovered, until beef is very tender when pierced, about 30 minutes longer.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving
Total time includes 4 hours marinating time.
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