SERVES 6 TO 8
2 pounds round stead cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced pancetta
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Herb bouquet of thyme, rosemary, and parsley, tied together with kitchen string
1 large whole bay leaf
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 carrots, cleaned and cut into rings
2 red skin potatoes, cut into quarters
4 cups diced plum tomatoes with their juice, either fresh or canned
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth or water
Rub the meat pieces with salt and pepper. Place everything in a crock-pot, starting with the meat, except the tomatoes, wine and beef broth or water.
Mix the tomatoes, wine and beef broth or water together and pour over the meat. Stir everything and cover. Cook over low heat according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Variation: You can also make this stew in a heavy-duty stove-top pot or cook it in a slow oven (250F) for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
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