This recipe is courtesy of French-born chef Daniel Boulud, one of the most acclaimed chef-restaurateurs in the USA, who launched his first European restaurants at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel earlier this month. See our article, Daniel Boulud's European adventure begins at London's Mandarin Oriental >>
• 2tbs extra virgin olive oil
• 5lb beef shoulder, trimmed of all fat
• 3 medium onions, sliced
• 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
• 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• ¼ tsp crushed black pepper
• 4 x 11.2oz bottles Chimay beer, or other Belgian-style beer
• 2tbs red wine vinegar
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• 1 cup white bread cut into ½-inch cubes
• 2tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 135°C. Season the beef shoulder on all sides with salt and ground black pepper. In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over high heat, warm the olive oil.
Add the beef to the pot and sear until dark golden brown on all sides - around 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and reserve.
Add the onions, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, until they turn a deep, caramel colour - about 20 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper.
Add the beer and vinegar and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Return the beef to the pot, add the bread and 2 cups of water, and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.
Braise until the meat is tender, about 3 hours, turning the meat once or twice. If the sauce is too thin or not intensely flavoured enough, ladle most of it off into another pot and simmer it until it thickens and intensifies. Then add it back to the pot. Finally, sprinkle the dish with parsley leaves and serve hot.