Chef Marc Murphy’s version of this legendary beef dish is smooth and indulgent, and has the red wine you crave built right in. It’s romantic in itself, creating a Valentine’s Day love affair between you and the stove.
Place the cut beef into a large non-reactive bowl and add the wine. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let the beef marinate overnight in the fridge.
Drain the beef in a colander with a bowl underneath, reserving the marinade. Place the flour and coarse black pepper in a shallow plate and, working in batches, toss the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess.
In a heavy-bottom pot, over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat has been rendered and is slightly crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pot, leaving the fat in the pan and reserving the cooked bacon. Working in batches, add the coated beef to the pot and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer the beef from pot to bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients until all of the meat has been browned.
Pour off any excess fat in the pan and increase heat to high. Pour sherry into the pot and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid over the beef.
Using kitchen string, tie together the celery, parsley stems, thyme, and bay leaves, making a bouquet garni.
Melt the butter over medium heat in the pot and add the onions, garlic, and carrots; cook until the onions are slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the reserved marinade, beef with juices, cooked bacon, and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meat is tender, about 3 ½ to 4 hours.
In a large pot of boiling salted water blanch pearl onions for 2 minutes, drain, rinse under cold water and peel. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over high heat until foam subsides and sauté the onions until brown spots appear. Add 1 ¾ cups water, bring to a simmer and partially cover. Cook until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the liquid is reduced and the onions are glazed.
Over high heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet and sauté the mushrooms until they are golden and all of the liquid they have released is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir the pearl onions and mushrooms into the stew and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and skim the fat from the stew. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the stew over roasted fingerling potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley.