Stewed Orange Beef with Nicoise Olives

Serves 4 - 6

2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
4 T. olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 c. red wine
1 1/2 c. beef or veal stock
1 orange zest cut into 2" strips and juiced
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. Nicoise olives, pitted
4 carrots, diced
1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a heavy bottom pan over high heat. Season pieces of beef evenly with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to pan and sear meat on all sides. Remove to a side plate, turn heat down to medium and add onions. Saute onions and garlic cloves until soft and a light brown. Add the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown glaze covering the bottom of the pan. Reduce wine by half and add beef broth, orange juice, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Return the beef to the pan, turn heat to low, cover and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 2½ hours until meat is tender. Remove cover and add olives and carrots. Continue cooking for another 20 minutes, uncovered. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Serve over soft polenta or mashed potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.