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Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Pour drippings into small bowl. Return 2 tablespoons to same pot; reserve remainder. Increase heat to high. Working in batches, add beef to pot and brown, about 7 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer meat to large bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chopped onion and chopped carrot to pot; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in flour. Return beef and accumulated juices to pot. Stir in tomato paste. Add herb sprigs, bay leaves, roasted garlic and 2 cups wine; simmer 15 minutes. Add 3 cups broth. Cover; simmer 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Uncover; simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1-1/2 hours longer. Discard herb sprigs and bay leaves.
Cook pearl onions in large saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Using 4- to 5-inch-diameter strainer, transfer onions to medium bowl; cool slightly, then peel. Return water to boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. This is where the brandy is added. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. (Bacon, stew and vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Used 4 lbs of cross cut. Fed about 12 people. Included 20 small 1 -1/2 inch red potatoes. Added to pot 2-1/2 hours before serving. About 1-1/2 cups of (soaked) dried chopped porcini added to the onions and carrots sauté and 2/3 cups of brandy (cognac is too expensive) poured on at the end and continue to sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Liquid. 1 to 2 cups of my bone stock. 1 to 2 cups porcini broth. Only 1 cup from Campbell's beef broth (too salty); 3 cups of heavy red wine. Thicken with 3 to 4 Tbls of rue.
Cooked at 200 deg 4 to 5 hours. Add potatoes 2-1/2 hours before serving. Increase temperature to 300 deg last hours to take care of potatoes and at this time add the pear onions and carrots. It needed a little salt. I let the guests do that.