A Course for Cool Autumn Nights

Each May, I spend a weekend with friends at the South Cliff Inn bed-and-breakfast in St. Joseph, Mich.

It’s our home base for an annual jazz concert called Smooth Jazz at Sunset at nearby Silver Beach, a whole lot of wine drinking and a whole lot of Scrabble.

Bill Swisher is the proprietor of the South Cliff Inn, and prepares a sumptuous breakfast for guests each morning. He has even found a way to make glutton-free dishes taste good.

Swisher is an accomplished chef, and several years ago published a cookbook—because so many guests had been asking him to do so. The recipe that follows is from that cookbook (now, sadly, out of print), and makes 3-5 servings, depending on how you cut the chuck roast.

Serve it with the same wine you use in preparing the dish, and enjoy it on a cool autumn evening.



  • 3½ lbs. chuck roast, cut into thick, serving-size chunks
  • 1 lb. thick-sliced bacon
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 7 cups dry red wine
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 lb. whole mushrooms
  • 9 medium onions, peeled


  1. Marinate the meat in 6 cups of the wine overnight.
  2. Cook half of the bacon in a heavy Dutch oven until almost done, then remove the meat.
  3. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Add bay leaf, garlic and salt.
  4. Heat the marinade just to boiling, and add more wine if necessary. Pour over the meat.
  5. Add flour and stir.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees in covered Dutch oven for 1 hour.
  7. While beef is cooking, cook the rest of the bacon, then add whole onions and brown. Remove from the heat, and add mushrooms.
  8. After the beef has cooked for 1 hour, add the remainder of the ingredients and continue cooking, covered, for 90 minutes more.
Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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