- 2 1/2 pounds beef top round cut 2" to 3" pieces
- 3 tablespoons Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1 pound button mushrooms brushed cleaned, and quartered
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 3 cups veal stock
- 2 cups chopped peeled seeded tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme lesves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- Baked Cheese Grits (see recipe)
Lay the beef pieces a few at a time between sheets of parchment paper. Using a meat mallet, pound the meat to tenderize and break up some of the connective tissue. Season the meat pieces with 2 tablespoons of Essence and dredge in the flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large cast-iron pan or a 3-quart braising pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and brown the floured beef, working in batches and adding more oil as necessary. Do not overcrowd the pan with the meat. Cook the beef for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. As the beef is browned, transfer to a large plate and set aside until you have cooked all of the beef.
Add the butter to the pan and, when melted, add the onions, celery, peppers and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables, stirring often, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Pour the red wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom.
Add the veal stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, salt, cayenne and black peppers to the pan and bring to a boil. Return the beef to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a lid on the pan and place in the oven. Allow the beef to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 2 hours, or until the beef is fork tender.
When the beef is tender, remove the pan from the oven and stir the oregano and basil into the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with Baked Cheese Grits.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings when served with Baked Cheese Grits.