A delicious make-ahead meal for the holiday season!

1 3- pound boneless beef chuck roast (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 onions (peeled, diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, smashed)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (leaves only)
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter (divided)
3/4 pound thick cut bacon (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
3 cups carrots (peeled, sliced into rounds)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup organic chicken broth
1 pound frozen pearl onions (thawed, peeled)
3/4 pound cremini mushrooms (sliced)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
crusty bread (to serve)

For the Beef: In large ziptop bag, combine the beef, onion, garlic, thyme, black pepper, bay leaves, olive oil and red wine. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.
For the Stew:
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Remove the beef from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the beef to the Dutch oven, and brown on all sides, about 4-6 minutes per side. Remove the meat to a plate. Add the bacon and cook until browned and fat has rendered but is not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot to the bacon, and continue to cook until lightly caramelized, then add the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent the tomato paste from burning.
Add the beef back to the pan and sprinkle the flour over the beef, bacon and vegetables, stirring to coat. Cook until the flour is absorbed and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved marinade with onions and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
In a medium saute pan over medium-low heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and the pearl onions. Season the onions with salt and pepper and continue to cook until lightly brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, mushrooms and garlic to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside until the beef is finished cooking.
Remove the stew from the oven, season to taste, and allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving. Remove and discard bay leaves. Spoon the stew into bowls and top with the cooked pearl onion and mushroom mixture. Serve with crusty bread.
Tip: This dish is delicious served with mashed potatoes or spooned over egg noodles!