Beef Cheeks Braised in Red Wine with Orange Zest (Joues de Boeuf aux Agrumes)
['2 pounds beef cheeks or boneless beef chuck roast', '2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil', '1 pound onions, coarsely chopped', '1 pound baby carrots, peeled', '1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine', '6 to 8 (3- by 1-inch) strips of orange zest']
Preheat oven to 350°F. with rack in middle.
If using chuck, cut across grain into 4 pieces.
Pat beef dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown beef on all sides, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate with tongs.
Add onions, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine and zest and bring to a boil. Add beef and return to a boil. Cover pot and braise in oven until meat is very tender, 2 to 4 hours (beef cheeks take longer than chuck). Season with salt and pepper. Serve beef with carrots and sauce.
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