... a competition for a wet August day.
Serves 4, Prep: 35 min Cook: 2 hr
900g skirt/flank steakMethod
2 tbsp olive oil
75g smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
1 bay leaf, few sprigs thyme, parsley and basil
2 large glasses red wine
2 red onions
2 large carrots
4 large vine tomatoes
6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
Following the lines of the meat, slice into big pieces, approx 10x4cm. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded stew-pan, such as one from Le Creuset. Brown the meat with the bacon, turning the pieces as they form a seal.... many thanks to Lindsey Bareham and The Times.
While that’s happening, bundle the herbs and tie with string. Place in a pan with the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Halve and slice the onions. Scrape the carrots and cut into chunky pieces. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, count to 30, drain and remove the skin. Cut into quarters, scrape out the seeds and chop the flesh. Remove the zest from one orange in small scraps. Crack the garlic with your fist, flake away the skin.
Stir the flour into the pan until it disappears. Add the onion, the wine and the herb bundle, zest and juice from the oranges, chopped tomatoes and 4 of the garlic cloves. Season lavishly with salt and pepper, stir and add sufficient water to just cover. Return to simmer. Turn off the heat, drape with parchment paper so it touches the stew, cover and cook in the oven at 180C/gas mark 6, for 2 hours.
Serve immediately, or reheat the next day. Garnish with the last two garlic cloves and the parsley, all finely chopped.