Christina Sepidoza of Wilbur & Sabastian’s Bistro.
To make a marinade for the beef, stir together red wine, brown sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and smoked paprika in a large airtight container.
Add the beef, making sure it is entirely submerged; cover and refrigerate for 24-96 hours.
When ready to use, strain beef from marinade; reserve marinade.
In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
Add half of stewing beef to the pan; stir and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until all sides are brown.
Remove beef from the pan and set aside; repeat until all beef is browned.
Warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over low heat. Add red and green peppers, onion, garlic, celery, thyme, and carrots; stir and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.
Add browned beef, reserved marinade, diced tomatoes, and 3 ½ cups of water and increase heat to medium.
Once pot comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 3-5 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and cooked through; stir occasionally to prevent meat from burning.
Add tomato paste to thicken a few minutes prior to serving; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the mechado tastes too acidic, add sugar, to taste.
Serve mechado in shallow bowls garnished with green olives.