2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (preferably Burgundy or
Côtes du Rhône)
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise (2 cups)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 oz thick-sliced bacon (preferably from slab bacon, rind removed if necessary; not smoked)
1 (10-oz) package pearl onions (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup water
Special equipment: parchment paper
Accompaniment: buttered egg noodles
How to make it
Put beef, wine, onion, thyme, bay leaf, parsley sprigs, and carrot in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and put in a bowl. Marinate beef, chilled, 16 to 24 hours.
Drain beef in a colander set over a large bowl, reserving marinade. Wipe off any solids clinging to beef, then pat beef dry. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat oil in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart heavy ovenproof pot with lid over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef well in 2 batches, without crowding, about 8 minutes per batch, transferring as browned with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Reduce heat to moderate, then add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until shallot and flour are browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add reserved marinade liquid to flour mixture, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Add beef along with any juices accumulated on plate and cover with a round of parchment paper and lid. Simmer mixture while you prepare bacon.
Cut bacon slices crosswise into 1/4-inch strips and cook in an 8-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is beginning to crisp. Transfer bacon with slotted spoon to beef (reserve fat in skillet). Re-cover beef with parchment and lid and braise in oven, 1 1/2 hours.
While meat is braising, blanch pearl onions in a 3- to 4-quart pot of boiling water, 1 minute. Drain onions in a colander, then peel, leaving root ends intact. Cook onions in reserved bacon fat in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
Pour off excess fat, then add 1/4 cup water and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon or spatula.
After meat has braised 1 1/2 hours, add pearl onions (with liquid in skillet), remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to beef and continue to braise, covered with parchment and lid, until onions are tender and meat is very tender, about 1/2 hour more.
Skim any fat from surface of beef and serve beef with buttered egg noodles sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley leaves.
Cooks' note: Boeuf vigneronne can be made and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered, up to 4 days. Reheat slowly over moderately low heat, adding water if necessary to thin boeuf vigneronne, until heated through.