Boeuf a la Mode d’Arles

A well-flavoured stew with red wine and olives, Boeuf a la Mode d’Arles (berf ah lah mohd dahrl), like all good stews, improves in flavour if it is prepared a day in advance and reheated before serving. Serve with plain boiled potatoes, followed by a crisp green salad.

7 oz. salt pork, cut into small dice

1 lb. good braising beef, cut into

2-inch cubes medium-sized onions, chopped

½ lb. streaky bacon, cut into small dice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon flour

1 ½ pints red wine

1 lb. tomatoes or

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes, drained

4 oz. black olives, stoned

Heat a large flameproof casserole and add the diced salt pork. With a metal spoon, turn the diced pork frequently so that the fat is released and the dice become brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the dice and place to one side on a plate.

Add the beef cubes, a few at a time, to the fat remaining in the casserole. Brown the pieces, stirring constantly. As the cubes brown, take them out of the pot with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate.

When all the meat has been browned and removed, add the onions, bacon, salt, pepper, bouquet garni, olive oil and the flour to the pot. Stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Return the meat cubes to the pot. Pour in the red wine and stir to mix. Bring the liquid to the boil and cover the pot.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.

Remove the bouquet garni and discard it. Add the tomatoes and olives and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, if you like, add the salt pork dice.

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