This is one of the recipes I learned during French cooking classes given by Anne de Ravel.
Artichokes a la Barigoule
3 bunches purple artichokes (about 15)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 package slab of smoked bacon
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely diced
sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To trim and cut the artichokes: fill a bowl with water and stir in 1/4 cup of vinegar or the juice of one lemon. Cut off the stem of one artichoke and bend back the lower, outer leaves until they snap off easily near base. Continue until you reach the tender leaves near the center.
Cut off the top third of artichoke or just below the green tips of the leaves. Pare all remaining dark green areas from bases. Halve the artichoke heart and remove the fuzzy center. Add the artichoke heart to the bowl of water. Continue until all the artichokes are trimmed.
Cut the smoked bacon into small cubes. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the diced bacon and saute until lightly brown. Add the onions, carrots and garlic. Lower the heat and saute until the vegetables are soft but not brown.
Drain the artichokes and add them to the pan. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add enough water to just cover the artichokes along with the bay leaf and thyme. Season with salt, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.