When it is cold and I have a bit of time on my hands I love to make this traditional French recipe for beef Bourguignon. If in a rush I cut corners like dicing the shallots and mushrooms and not pre-browning them.
Beef Marinade: Place the beef in a glass bowl then add the thyme, bay leaves, parsley and garlic then pour over the red wine. Marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, stir occasionally if possible.
Remove the meat from the marinade with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the liquid of the herbs, reserving the liquid.
Stew: Heat a heavy based saucepan over medium heat with 20g of the butter. Brown the shallots and bacon for 6 minutes then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the dish and set aside.
Add the remaining butter to the dish and cook the onion until softened. Increase the heat to high then add the strained meat and cook until the meat is well browned.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour, tossing well to coat. Add the reserved marinade and water. Bring the mixture to the boil, mixing well.
Place the lid on the saucepan reduce heat to very low, simmer for about an hour, stirring from time to time.
Return the shallots , bacon and mushrooms to the saucepan then cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender.