1. Put the wine into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of rice bran oil in a large saucepan or casserole – of course, being Milly’s you know that we love Le Creuset and Staub for this job. Add 45g butter, when it foams add the cubes of meat – you will need to do this in a few batches as you don’t want to crowd the pan as the meat with stew instead of browning. Brown them for five minutes over a medium heat, turning them with a wooden spoon or tongs to make sure they get browned on all sides. You want a rich, deep brown – don’t skimp on this step. Brown colour equals flavour!
3. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the meat to a deep dish. Put the carrots and onions into the pan in which the meat was browned and cook for 5 minutes over a very low heat, stirring once or twice to keep them from darkening.
4. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and throw it back into the pan along with 1 scant teaspoon of crushed pepper. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes – just long enough to remove the flour’s raw taste.
5. Pour half of the broth into the pan and stir. Then pour in the wine and the rest of the broth; it should come just high enough to cover the meat. Add the bouquet garni and the garlic and cover. Simmer very gently for 2 hours. Every 30 minutes, skim the foam from the surface and then stir the pan to redistribute the meat.
6. While the meat cooks, put the small onions into a saucepan with 1 litre of water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the onions for 2 minutes. Drain them in a colander.
7. Melt 15g of butter in a sauté pan or small saucepan. Add the onions and caster sugar; season with pepper, cover, and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes rotating the pan every 5 minutes, until the onions are quite tender and pale golden. Keep a close eye on them – they should not turn too dark. Drain them into a colander sitting on a plate.
8. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan, then add the lardons. Cook them for 5 minutes, stirring, over a medium heat. When they are browned, use a slotted spoon to put them in the colander with the onions, leaving their fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring. Season lightly with salt and pepper before adding the mushrooms to the onions and lardons.
9. When the stew has been simmering for 2 hours and the meat is delectably tender,, use a large spoon to remove any fat from the surface. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and put it in a large, deep serving dish. Put the lardons, onions and mushrooms into the same dish. Put the meat’s sauce through a fine strainer into another saucepan and bring to a simmer, simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, this dish should be quite peppery. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables and sprinkle with chopped parsley.