3 pounds top side or top rump of beef [1,4 kg]
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound salt pork, diced [120 g]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons cognac, warmed
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 calf’s foot, split (optional)
1/2 bottle good red Burgundy
Beef stock or water to cover
18 pearl onions
12 button mushrooms
Cut beef into cubes and roll in flour. Heat 3 tablespoons each olive oil and butter in large frying pan and sauté diced salt pork until crisp. Transfer pork to a large heatproof casserole. Brown meat well on all sides in remaining fat, and season with salt and pepper. Flame with cognac and add meat to casserole. Brown chopped carrots, leek, shallots, onion and garlic in fat remaining in frying pan, stirring occasionally. Transfer to casserole. Add calf’s foot, bouquet garni, wine and enough hot water or stock to cover. Cover casserole and cook in a very slow oven (280° – 300°F.) [140° – 150° C.] for 1 hour.
Stir in, bit by bit, 2 tablespoons butter worked with 2 tablespoons flour; cover and continue to cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, or until meat is tender. Brown onions in 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan with a little sugar. Add a little red wine and cook over low heat until tender. Keep warm. Sauté mushroom caps in remaining oil and 2 tablespoons butter and a little lemon juice. Keep warm. Remove calf’s foot and bouquet garni; correct seasoning; add onions and mushroom caps, and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.
Serves 4 to 6.