2 cups dry red wine (optional: additional wine for the chef)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 lb button mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 cups pearl onions, peeled
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned and fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Toss beef in flour mixture.
In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the bacon fat for 3-5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides and adding a little oil as needed. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of sear.
Stir in chopped onions, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until onions are softened.
Stir in garlic and reserved bacon and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add carrots, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 to 1½ hours or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and pearl onions. Cook until browned.
Once meat in the stew pot is tender, stir in pearl onions; simmer stew another 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Serve over buttery mashed potatoes and sprinkle with parsley.