2) While the meat browns, put the flour into a medium bowl and whisk with about 350ml of the chicken stock until smooth.
3) Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into a slow cooker; stir in their juices, 3 tbsp of the cognac, the herbes de Provence, and the 2 tsp of salt.
4) Transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker. Add the remaining 125ml chicken stock to the skillet; let it bubble for a minute and then stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour over the meat, and then scatter the garlic, carrots, fennel and onion over and around the meat. Pour the flour/stock mixture over. Cover the cooker, set it on HIGH, and cook for 4 hours, then set the cooker on LOW and cook until the meat is very tender, up to 2 hours more (for a total of 6 hours).
5) Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Skim any excess fat off the top of the sauce in the cooker. To finish the sauce, stir the remaining cognac, the tomato tapenade, parsley and orange zest into the vegetables and sauce in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
6) Slice the meat and lay the slices down the centre of a serving platter. Arrange the vegetables around the meat and spoon some sauce over the top. Serve with hot buttered egg noodles. Pass the remaining sauce.