Boeuf a La Gordienne (Provencal Braised Beef)

"I got this from my dad. He served it with a Wild Mushroom Ragout and white rice. Butter noodles would also work nicely. Try to use a good cut of meat (topside, neck or chuck steak) and a medium red wine."
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  • Cut the meat into 2-inch cubes. Peel the onion and stud with cloves. Tie together the thyme, sage, bay leaf, celery and orange rind to make a bouquet garni. Place the cubes of meat into a large bowl and cover with the wine and vinegar. Add the bouquet garni, garlic and onion, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pork rind into 3/4-inch squares. Drop into boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain. Scatter 2/3 cup of the squares of the bottom of a 4-qt. enameled pot.
  • Heat the oil in a nonstick 11-inch saute pan. Add the carrots and cook over high heat until lightly browned and caramelized, 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Drain the cubes of meat and pat dry. Cut the bacon into thin matchsticks. Lightly brown the meat and the bacon in the same pan used for the carrots, about 5 minutes.
  • Place the meat and bacon in the pot and surround with carrots. Cover the meat with the remaining squares of pork rind and pour the marinade over. Add the bouquet garni, garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot with a sheet of oiled waxed paper or parchment paper and place the lid on top. Bake for up to 5 hours, checking for doneness. (The recipe says five hours, but my dad thought this was too long, so judge as you will.).
  • Remove the onion, garlic and bouquet garni from the pot. If desired, boil the cooking juices over high heat for several minutes to reduce to a syrupy consistency. Serve the meat with the carrots, bacon, pork rind and sauce.

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