From Nick de Toldi at

You need a piece of beef meat of 2 or 3 pounds. Ask your butcher for something for stew, if you do not mind having fat parts in it, or just ordinary steak, if you don’t like the fat. Cut into pieces or cubes between 1 and 2 inches.

Gather in the kitchen, wheat flour, an onion, a small carrot, one or two heads of garlic, a thick and fat slice of smoked bacon, a can of mushrooms, a bottle of strong red wine (if you can afford a cheap red burgundy, it’s the best, but any strong ordinary red wine will do), salt pepper, bay leaf, the smallest can of concentrated tomatoes, fresh parsley.

Take a deep thick pot or casserole with a cover. Place butter and oil in it and the little cubes of fat bacon. (You’ll have cut your slice before, of course). The melting grease of the bacon flavours the fat.

Once its warm, put in the chopped onion. Add the carrot cut into thin slices.Then, the garlic and, after a while, the cubes of meat. Your fire must be quite strong and you must move these things all the time. Meat becomes grey and looses moisture. If you feel it’s too dry add some oil. Don’t use olive oil but anything with no taste, the smoked bacon gives it.

Do that for around five minutes then reduce fire and put your fingers in the flour pack, take what you can and put that on the meat. The top becomes white. Turn it all, the white disappears, everything dries, dont let it burn but if it becomes dark brown, no problem. Do it again fingers in the flour etc…

Then add your concentrated tomatoes, 1 or 2 tablespoons no more. Mix it all again.

Add your mushrooms (well dried). Mix again and leave it a short while.

Add the wine, all the meat must be underneath the wine level. No more, no less.

Put the salt, the pepper the laurel leaf and the parsley thoroughly cut.

Activate fire and let it boil frankly while moving it all continuously. Scrap bottom. Once it’s boiling, reduce fire to minimum, place cover on top and let it cook smoothly for two hours. That is the word “mijoter”. From time to time, you can lift cover, look and mix.

After these two hours, you stop fire and let it rest covered another hour. Then you can taste and see if you’ve put enough salt at the beginning or if you must add more.

Leave it like this and eat it only the next day, after another hour of gentle cooking.

This dish is served with boiled potatoes or white rice or big pasta like fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle.

If you proceed like this, the wine has evaporated a lot, the sauce is brown and thick, but still all the meat is inside sauce. If you evaporate too much by leaving fire too strong, you can add some (half a glass) water but never any (crude) wine.

The total smooth cooking is three hours. After this time, you can eat as we said with pasta or potatoes, or leave it again untill it becomes cold. Then place it in an earthenware pot inside refrigerator, and eat it cold the day after at a picnic or whatever. When it’s cold, the sauce should be somehow thick and no longer liquid.