This is a delicious dish made from a cut of meat that is both tender and tasty but so often overlooked, for, in my opinion, stewing steak which is often tough and fibrous and sometimes cooks out quite dry.
This recipe can be served straight away, but will improve if left for 24 hours in the refrigerator, as most dishes in sauces often do. This is what I call good French country cooking – hearty, simple and thoroughly delicious!
Difficulty : Easy
Preparation time : 25 minutes
Cooking Time : 2 to 3 hours
1.5 Kg Beef Cheeks, cut into chunks
150g smoked bacon cut into thin strips
60g Green olives (I prefer to use olives that are unpitted)
60g black olives (not Greek as they overpower the sauce)
3 medium onions finely chopped
4 Tomatoes seeded, peeled and chopped finely (you can use tinned tomatoes if you prefer)
200g new carrots with the leaves on
3 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
1 laurel leaf
1 small branch of rosemary
75 cl coarse red wine (Fitou, Fronton or Cahors is perfect)
6 cl Red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Olive oil
Fresh grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
1 tablespoon flour
Peel and finely chop the onions, put them in a cast-iron oven dish with the strips of bacon and gently fry together without adding any oil, add the crushed garlic – when lightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, reserve until later.
In the same oven dish, heat the oil gently, add the beef and brown gently without burning, turning constantly. When lightly browned – after about 10 minutes – sprinkle the flour on the beef and continue frying for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the wine and stirring constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Add the onions and bacon then the tomatoes, stirring well before adding the olives, wine vinegar and a grating of fresh nutmeg, season and simmer gently.
Cut the stalks off of the carrots, leaving 2 or 3 centimeters of the green stalk, wash and scrub clean under running water – trim off any long roots then add to the pan with the beef along with the rosemary and bay leaf.
Cover the pan and simmer gently for at least 2 hours – or leave for 24 hours and serve with boiled potatoes or pasta shells – serve with the wine that was used to cook the dish in.