Remember that to make a great stew you have to start marinating the meat at least the night before!!!
6 lb of beef chuck, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bottle of good quality Burgundy wine, or Californian Pinot Noir
3/4 lb bacon, cut into strips
2 medium onions, chopped
6 carrots, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
5 to 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 to 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
The night before, marinate the beef in the wine and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Take the meat out of the fridge and drain the wine and juice. Reserve the liquids.
In a large Dutch oven, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Remove all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease and set aside.
Heat the 2 Tbsp bacon grease and add the vegetables - onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
When done, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add another 2 Tbsp bacon grease (or olive oil) and brown the meat on all sides in several batches. You do not want to add too much meat all at once as it will render too much juice and won't brown. When the meat is nice and browned, set aside until the last batch. Return all the meat to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with the flour. Stir well to ensure that each piece of meat is coated with the flour. Add the vegetables. Mix well. Add the bacon, the reserved wine and mix again. Add the bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for three hours, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom and making sure it does not boil.
After one hour of cooking, you can add the cocoa powder.
Before serving, sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Serve with steamed potatoes, or egg noodles.