Cube beef into 1 1/2 inch chunks, pat dry, salt & pepper. Seat in a dutch oven in a little olive oil. Do not crowd the pan to prevent steaming.
Place seared beef on a plate, set aside.
Slice 1 large onion, saute in the same pan to lift off all that lovely fond from the bottom of the pan. I substituted pearl onions from the original recipe because I simply did not have them on hand. I am a big believer of 'adjusting' recipes but following the basic flavor profile.
Add button mushrooms once the onions were sweated. Saute for several minutes till some of the liquid has evaporated.
Add Chicken or Beef broth, wine and beef base. I have this beef base on hand in the fridge for just such purpose and for sauces on the fly during the week. It gives you a developed flavor without the time investment.
Add a sprig of thyme and a small piece of Rosemarie, both from our garden.
Two small bay leaves, there is no replacement to this ingredient.
Check it out - the caramelized and deep color of the pot just screams FLAVOR!