As promised a few hours ago when I asked a question about whether a casserole has a lid, here is the recipe and review for the Rich beef stew, from a book called Italian: over 180 tentalizing recipes.
This recipe is made first by browning one half pound quartered onions in olive oil and butter, then browning 1 lb of stewing meat (I used boneless beef short ribs and boneless briquet point), then adding 300 ml beef stock, 150 ml red wine, 4 tbsp oregano (I used 2 tbsp dried oregano), 1 tbsp sugar, one orange, peel sliced and segments sectioned, transfering everything in a casserole, cover and bake at 350F for 1 1/4 hour. In the meantime, you have to soak 1 oz of dried porcini mushrooms in 4 tbsp water and chop up 1/2 lb plum tomatoes. After the stew has cooked for the 1 1/4 hour, put the mushrooms, the soaking liquid and the chopped tomato and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
This was very good. It was the first time I actually chose the cut of my stewing meat and it made a difference. One of the two meats is noticeably more tender than the other (unfortunately, I cannot tell which one). But both are tender. The orange gives the stew a very nice perfume and the porcini add a lot of earthiness. I will definitely do that recipe again.