For me, Christmas Eve is all about starting the relaxation and celebration. It’s about hunkering in for the holidays and nothing creates warm festivities like slow cooked French food.
I love that this recipe can be put together in the morning and left in the crock-pot until the evening. That leaves me with time to add finishing touches to the Christmas cake and prepare anything ahead for Christmas Day! Then in the afternoon, I go to the pub for a glass of wine and wish my fellow villagers a merry Christmas. Then home to the wonderful aromas of the beef, which I serve with some boiled potatoes and broccoli simply lightly simmered in beef stock. Then we snuggle in front of the fire and finish the bottle of Pinot Noir!
Wine note: French Pinot Noir is a given for this, both for the cooking and the drinking
¾ cup all-purpose flour (plain)
2 ½ lbs. beef stew meat cut into 1 ½” cubes
3 tbsp. vegetable or grapeseed oil
2 cups full bodied red wine preferably Pinot Noir
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
20 baby white onions
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. button mushrooms halved
½ cup fresh thyme to garnish
- Place flour in a Ziploc bag add meat several pieces at a time & shake to coat.
- Heat a large heavy based skillet & add 2 tbsp. of oil. Brown meat in batches, turning for 8-10 mins then place in a crock pot.
- Add wine to skillet & deglaze over medium -high heat. Cook stirring frequently for 10 mins until sauce begins to thicken. Add the garlic, thyme sprigs & bay. Pour over the beef in the crock pot. Cover & cook for 6-8 hours.
- While the beef cooks, peel & trim the onions . Heat a sauté pan & add the final tbsp. of oil. Sauté the onions for 10 mins until browned then add to the crock pot 1 hour before serving.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium- high heat and add the butter. Add the mushrooms & sauté for 5 mins or until lightly browned. Add to the crock pot 30 mins before serving. Remove the thyme sprigs & bay leaves. Transfer the meat to a large serving dish & garnish with the chopped thyme & serve immediately with new potatoes.