Because sometimes you want Boeuf Bourguignon
Like so many home cooks before me, the first recipe I made from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was boeuf bourguignon. I followed the recipe exactly and the end result was impressive; however, it was a ton of work. After peeling 24 baby white onions, I was ready to skip the beef and head right to the bourguignon. Below, I have taken a few shortcuts, but it is still a deeply satisfying meal.
A hearty meal.
- 6 ounces bacon, cut into lardons (1/4 inch sticks)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds stewing beef,cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1 inch chucks
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups full-bodied red wine
- 3 cups beef stock (or more)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 ounces frozen baby onions
- 1 pound button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- fresh parsley for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
In a large Dutch oven, saute the bacon in the oil until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dry the beef with paper towels. Do not skip this step. The beef will not brown if it is wet and a lot of the flavor will come from browning of the beef. Raise the heat. Working in batches, brown the beef in the oil and bacon fat on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot. Remove the beef and add it to the bacon.
Saute the carrot and onion in the fat and cook until the onions are light brown.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot and add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and toss it around until everything is evenly coated. Set the Dutch oven in the oven, uncovered for 8 minutes. Give it a good toss about halfway through. (This step is worth keeping in because it browns the flour.) Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in the wine and stock so that the beef is just covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours until the beef is very tender.
While the beef is cooking prepare the mushrooms and onions. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onions and saute until they are browned. Add the onions to the stew. In the same pan add a little more butter and sauce the mushrooms until they are browned. Add the mushrooms to the stew. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
At this point, you can freeze the stew for later use. Defrost in the refrigerator one day before you plan to serve it.
Reheat the stew in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve right out of the pot with a good sourdough, crusty French bread or over egg noodles. Don’t forget the wine.