Serves 4 to 6
2 Pounds boneless braising beef
(we used boneless chuck, trimmed)
1 bottle full bodied red wine
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup plus 2 T. olive oil
2 carrots cut into thin rounds
3 ribs celery in thin slices
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
½ cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 medium onions, peeled and halved
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pan with a lid, ( or a large zip lock bag ) combine beef, wine, brandy, ¼ cup olive oil, carrots, bay leaves, celery, rosemary, pepper and cinnamon. Stick a clove into each onion half and add to pan. Cover and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
2 hours before cooking the meat remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Remove beef from marinade and pat dry. Generously dust with flour and brown in remaining 3 T oil until well browned on all sides in a heavy oven proof casserole or pan. Season beef well with salt and pepper. Add the marinade to the casserole and cover. At this point, you can simmer on stove top or put into a 350 degree oven which is my preferred method. Cook for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the amount of meat, if you double the recipe, until the meat is fork tender and falls apart.
Strain the cooking liquid to remove any solids, if you wish. Reduce to one cup. Slice or pull meat apart and serve with sauce. This recipe may be made ahead and reheated.
For the potatoes: (this is a general recipe)
Use Yukon gold or red-skinned small potatoes. Do not peel. Cook until potatoes are done along with several cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you want the dish to be. When done, mash along with either whole milk or ½ & ½ and a goodly chunk of cream cheese. I always add a little of reserved potato water when making mashed potatoes. I think it improves the flavor.