Make the marinade: Combine all the marinade ingredients, from the bottle of wine through the fennel powder, in a large bowl. Place the beef in a large sealable plastic bag, then pour the marinade into the bag (having a helper is handy here). Gently shake the beef around a bit to get it well-coated, then squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Store the beef in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms 30 minutes prior to starting to cook the stew. Heat the water in a pan. When it starts to boil, remove from stove and pour over the dried porcini in a bowl that can withstand the hot water. Let the porcini soak in the water for at least 30 minutes.
Place a sieve over a bowl and line it with a wet paper towel. Pour the mushrooms into the sieve. Reserve the porcini soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms, then coarsely chop and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees as you get ready to brown the meat and veggies
To start making the stew, place a strainer inside a large bowl. Pour the beef mixture into the strainer, using the bowl to capture and reserve the marinade. Remove the beef, patting it with paper towel to dry it a bit, and scrape off big pieces of herbs and spices from the marinade. Set the beef aside in a bowl.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a dutch oven. Add the finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the pan, cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Next, stir in the beef, combining it well with the veggies. Salt to taste. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.
After the beef has browned, stir in the reserved marinade, 1 cup of the porcini liquid, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the liquid to reduce a bit.
Cover the dutch oven, and carefully move it into the preheated oven, and cook for 4 hours.
Carefully move the stew back on the stovetop after the 4 hours. Bring to a steady simmer, and add the garlic powder, chopped porcini mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes reduce and thicken the stew. At the end of this cooking time, stir in the parsley, olives and lemon zest. The last two items give a nice freshness to it. Alternatively, a bit of these last 3 items can be served on top of each person’s bowl of stew, for a nice presentation. We like to serve the stew over mashed potatoes, or you can serve with noodles or directly in a bowl. Enjoy with a glass of Nebbiolo or other Italian red wine!
NOTE: Though it is preferable to use the cooking temperature and heat given here, I have when short on time turned the heat up to 325 and reduced the cooking time in the oven by 30 to 60 minutes.