A slow-cooked casserole of tender beef in a red wine and tomato sauce, with black olives and bell pepper.
- For 6 persons:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 lbs boned beef chuck, cut in i.5-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, very finely sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- a few fresh thyme sprigs (I replaced with dried thyme)
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup red wine
- 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- about 15 black olives, halved and pitted
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large bell pepper, preferably red, cut into strips
- Preheat the oven to 350F/170 C. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole (I used my dear green Dutch oven) and brown the meat, in batches, on all sides.
- Remove to a side plate as the meat is browned and set aside until needed.
- Add the remaining oil, the onion and carrots to the casserole and cook over a low heat until the onion softens.
- Add the parsley and garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Return the meat to the casserole, raise the heat and stir well to mix the vegetables with the meat.
- Stir in the bay leaf, thyme and nutmeg, then add the wine, bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, stock and olives and mix well; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and place in the centre of the preheated oven; bake for 1.5 hrs.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the strips of bell pepper.
- Return the casserole to the oven and cook, uncovered, for another 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender.