3large onions2 kgbeef chuck, cut into 8-10cm pieces2large carrots, thickly sliced widthways6garlic cloves, sliced2celery stalks, including tops, strings removed and coarsely chopped18cm-strip of dried orange peel (see note)1bouquet garni (see note)1cinnamon quill10black peppercorns, crushed5juniper berries, crushed5cloves750 ml (3 cups)dry red wine125 ml (½ cup)good-quality aged red wine vinegarFor dusting:plain flour100 mlextra-virgin olive oil300 gmbacon or pancetta, cut into batons40 (½ cup)black Niçoise olivesTo serve:macaroni or rigatoni, mixed leaf salad and finely grated parmesan
Coarsely chop 1 onion and set aside.Thinly slice remaining onions and place in a non-reactive bowl with beef, carrot, garlic, celery, orange peel, bouquet garni and spices. Season to taste with sea salt then add wine and vinegar. Cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight.
Remove beef from marinade (reserve marinade), pat dry with absorbent paper and dust with flour. Heat half the olive oil in a large flame-proof casserole over medium heat. Cook meat in batches, stirring occasionally, until brown (5-7 minutes), adding more oil if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add coarsely chopped onion to pan with bacon and sauté over medium heat until soft (5-7 minutes). Add meat and reserved marinade to pan. Add enough water, if necessary, to cover meat and vegetables. Bring to the boil over low-medium heat then reduce heat to very low and simmer until sauce thickens and meat is tender (4-5 hours). Season generously to taste, remove from heat and cool completely. Skim excess fat from surface and discard. Add olives and reheat over very low heat until warmed through (20-30 minutes). Serve with macaroni or rigatoni, mixed leaf salad and finely grated parmesan.
Note To make dried orange peel, peel long thick strips of rind from an orange using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Keep in a dry place for 2-3 days until dried. It will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Substitute with a piece of fresh orange peel removed with a peeler. To make bouquet garni, tie 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 fresh bay leaves and 50gm celery stalks and leaves together with kitchen string.