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Cube beef, 1-1/2-inch proximately. In 2 Tablespoons of butter, brown about a quarter of the beef at a time in the Dutch Oven (cast iron works best). Remove browned meat, and add butter until all the meat has been browned. Return all the beef to the Dutch Oven. In small saucepan or large ladle, heat 1/2 of Brandy until vapor rises. Ignite and pour over beef. As flame dies, remove beef to another pan and set aside. Add 2 Tablespoons butter to Dutch Oven. Heat slightly. Add onions. Cook on low heat (covered) until onions brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Then add mushrooms. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
With slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and onions. Remove Dutch Oven from heat. Using wooden spoon, stir in potato starch, meat extract, and tomato paste after pre-mixing ingredients. Stir in burgundy wine, sherry, port, and condensed beef broth. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring wine mixture in Dutch Oven just to boiling, stirring with whisk. Remove from heat. Add beef, pepper, bay leaf, onions, mushrooms, and remaining Brandy. Mix well. Place a large sheet of waxed paper over top of Dutch Oven. Place a lid on top of paper. Bake covered. Stir occasionally. Cook 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender. If broth is thin, add more tomato paste and potato/corn starch to thicken.
When making ahead, use small amount of mushrooms and sliced onion. Then add sauteed fresh mushrooms and small onions when reheating.
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