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Our ultra-reserve Cabernet Sauvignon needs a robust dish to balance it, like this succulent braised beef enriched with bacon and olives.
In a large, non-reactive container, place the beef, onions, carrots, garlic, herb bouquet, wine, and vinegar to marinate. Cover the container and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally.
When you are ready to cook, remove the beef, reserving the marinade, vegetables, and herb bouquet. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Salt and sprinkle with flour, shaking off the excess.
In a large, heavy fry pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the bacon lardons and remove with a slotted spoon to a heavy-bottomed casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Turn the heat up to medium high and brown the beef in batches, adding to the casserole as you go.
When all the meat has been browned, pour off the excess fat from the pan and add the marinade, scraping up the bits of fond from the bottom of the pan. Add the marinade to the casserole. Stir the onions, carrots, herb bouquet, tomato, orange zest, and black olives into the casserole. Add enough beef stock to just cover the meat.
Bring the stew to a simmer, covered, either on top of the stove or in a 325° F oven. Watch that the stew remains at a low simmer and gently stir several times until the meat is fork tender, approximately 2 to 3 hours.
Pour the contents into a colander set over a clean saucepan. Remove the carrot, orange zest, and herb bouquet; discard. Wipe out the casserole and add the stew mixture back to the pot. Degrease the braising liquid and taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper as needed. Reduce the liquid quickly if you feel the sauce needs to be more concentrated or thicker. Pour the braising liquid over the meat and gently warm.
Serve over buttered noodles or in shallow soup bowls with crusty bread.