This dish comes from the the Carmargue, French cowboy country, and is traditionally made with bull’s meat which is somewhat tough but extremely flavorful. In the US, we can only dream of the day when the palette of the people, even only a handful of people, will demand a search for meat based on flavor and utility rather than just going to the shop for MEAT. Imagine knowing instinctively that a good hearty stew requires bull’s meat…. oh, well, out of la la land and back to earth. At The Farm Shop we cut our stew meat into large pieces of 2-2.5 oz but for this recipe our Kabobs work best since we cut them in nice 4oz pieces. All of our stew meat is cut from the chuck or the round rather than scrap meat for a more consistent end result. As I mentioned in my last blog, please, please search out good quality black olives. I am not sure what is really in those cans of “black olives” but they don’t belong in this stew.

This stew is exquisite served over fresh pasta but is also great spooned over rice or potatoes.

Gardiane La Camargue (La Camargue’s Beef Stew with Black Olives)

4.5lbs grass fed stewing beef
5 garlic cloves
2-3 medium onions, Cut into rounds
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
1 bottle full-bodied red wine such as Cotes-du-Rhone
2 tbs olive oil
2 sprigs thyme or 1/2 ts dried
3 imported bay leaves
1 cup oil-cured black olives, preferably from Nyons
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. One day before serving, combine the meat, garlic, onions, carrots and wine in a large non reactive bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring once or twice.
2. Three hours before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Remove the meat from the marinade, drain well.
3. In a very large, heavy bottomed, non reactive casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides, working in several batches if necessary. Do not crowd the meat. Add the thyme, bay leaves and olives and season with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade ingredients over the meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and barely simmer, half covered, for 2 hours.
4. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Transfer the stew to a deep serving platter. Serve with rice, pasta or potatoes.
Serves 6