The secret bit's the marinating in red wine, fresh thyme, black pepper (NO salt) and bay leaves AND using a combination of topside beef and just a regular cheaper braising beef. I'd always used braising beef but was introduced to using topside and it was SO good!! That said follow this recipe and both will work out fit.
Cut the beef in 2" x 2" pieces or a bit larger, I think it's always nice to get a generous portion of meat.
Marinate in the following for as long as possible, over nights ideal but a few hours still works.
Allow at least 250g of meat per person eating.
Red Onion x 1
Big bundle of fresh thyme
Black Pepper, freshly ground
Red cooking wine or cheap red wine.
Pat dry once marinated then do the following-
Season in salt and pepper and coat in plain flour and more fresh thyme then lightly fry in sunflower oil until light brown on all sides.
Use a non stick pan
Don't overload the pan, all pieces of meat need to be flat on the bottom of the pan
Use kitchen tongs to turn the meat
It should only take a few mins to brown all the sides. Once golden take of the heat and put on kitchen town to soak up some of the oil.
The flour will also help thicken up the sauce as it slow cooks.
For the Stew-
1 x red onion
DON'T THROW THE RED WINE MARINADE- add this
2 x Beef Oxo cubes
1 x pint of water
1/2 tube of tomato puree
4 x rashes of smokey streaked bacon
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 x Big handfuls of mushrooms
Fry up your onions, bacon and thyme then add your browned beef, the red wine marinate and 2 beef oxo cubes, 1 pint of water, 1/2 tube of tomato puree and cook on 140 for 6hrs, keep having a check and see whether you need to add any more seasoning, and if it needs it cook it for a further hour...at this stage it should be spot on...nowt else needed!! :-)
Add in your mushrooms half an hour before serving...so they don't shrink to nothing.
So happy with this :-)