1 1/2 pounds beef (suitable for braising or stewing) cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
1 bouquet garni
1 bottle (750ml) robust red wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 carrot cut into small pieces
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ozs bacon chopped
8 shallots peeled, left whole
4 ozs mushrooms trimmed, quartered if large
1 tablespoon pure cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbs water
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add beef and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes, remove to a plate.
Add bacon and fry until crisp.
Add shallots, carrots, garlic, and fry briefly, 1 – 2 minutes.
Put vegetables & bacon into the slow cooker.
Add beef to slow cooker. Tuck in bouquet garni and top with mushrooms.
Add 1/2 cup red wine to skillet and stir to get up any browned bits.
Stir in vinegar, then pour over the beef.
Add as much red wine as needed to almost cover the beef.
Cover and cook on low for 8 1/2 hours.
Stir once after about 4 hours if possible.
To finish: Remove as much of the wine sauce as possible, leaving the beef and vegetables in the cooker. Put the sauce in a saucepan
Keep the beef warm while finishing the sauce.
Bring sauce to a boil over medium – high heat.
Whisk in cocoa and let reduce for 5 minutes.
Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture to thicken. It clears as it cooks and thickens.
Remove the beef and vegetables to a platter or shallow bowl.
Spoon some sauce over the beef and serve, remaining sauce on the side.