1.25kg braising steak
150g rindless lean smoked back bacon (about 5 rashers)
1 tbsp of sunflower oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
300ml of red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
500ml of cold water (I didn't add this, just used more wine)
1 beef stock cube
2 large bay leaves
400g small shallots
3 bushy sprigs of thyme (I didn't have this)
250g button mushrooms, wiped and halved
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp cold water
freshly chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Trim the braising steak of any fat and cut into chunky pieces, each about 4cm. Season the beef really well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Trim the bacon of any visible fat and cut into 2cm wide strips.
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Fry the beef and bacon over a meduim heat for 3 minutes until lightly browned on all sides, turning every now and then.
Add the onion and garlic to the dish and fry for 2 minutes more. Pour over the the wine and stir in the tomato puree and water. Crumble over the stock cube, add the herbs and bring to a simmer. Stir well and cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1½ hours.
While the beef is cooking, peel the shallots.
Take the casserole out of the oven and stir in the shallots and mushrooms. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until the beef is completely tender.
Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth and stir this into the casserole. Place the dish on the hob and simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Don't stir too much or the beef could fall apart.
Adjust the seaseonong to taste, sprinkle with the fresh parsely and serve with small portion of rice or mashed potatoes and green beans.