This casserole style dish is perfect for all the family to enjoy! Also it is quite a rich dish so it would be a perfect treat for a dinner party.
Heat a large pan with a little butter and oil and quickly brown off the meat in batches until it is browned all over. Make sure not to do too much meat at any given time because the meat will begin to stew as opposed to brown off. Transfer the meat to a large casserole dish.
Add the diced bacon, carrot, onion, mushrooms, garlic to this pot after cooking the meat. Add a sprig or two of rosemary and thyme at this stage also. Return some of the beef to the pan. Scatter in the plain flour over the ingredients and mix well over a low heat. Don’t worry about the flour browning off at this stage as this would only help to further colour and develop the flavour of the sauce. Pour in the red wine and beef stock slowly now and continue mixing with a wooden spoon to combine the flour with the liquid and to thicken the sauce.
Bring the sauce to the boil and allow to boil for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree now and then taste the sauce and correct the seasoning if you feel some seasoning is required.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Pour the mixture into the casserole dish over the meat and cover with a tight fitting lid. Transfer to the oven for approximately 2 ½ -3 hours. Don’t forget to take the dish out of the oven every so often (perhaps every 50 minutes to 1 hour) and give it a stir to make sure that the liquid has not evaporated off. Incidentally if it has you will need to add a little more beef stock. I normally remove the lid for the last 15-20 minutes of the cooking time.
After the cooking time has been reached bring the entire casserole dish to the table and sprinkle it with some chopped parsley. I like to serve this with some baby boiled potatoes dressed with butter and chopped parsley or with a large chunk of bread and a glass of a good full bodied merlot.