Beef Bourguignon is a great Sunday dinner dish that the whole family can enjoy. This is definitely a winter or cold weather meal. I will forewarn you, the prep time is almost as long as the cooking time, but it’s well worth it. If you follow the recipe, step by step, it is not too difficult. Just make sure you have everything you need in place. A bit of tidbit information, the French have a word this, “Mis en Place”, translation: “Everything in place”. There are many recipes for Beef Bourguignon. Julia Childs’ version is the most famous, but I decided to try Ina Gartens’ version. The Barefoot Contessa has never steered me wrong. Many times, I do my own adaptation of a recipe, but with this one, I followed it to the tee, with the exception of the oven temp. I cooked it at 300 degrees F instead of 250 degrees F, and boy was it good! It’s even better for leftovers, a day or two later. You can serve it on toasted bread, with boiled potatoes or on wide egg noodles, like I chose.
Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a large Dutch oven, and then take about 8 ounces of dry cured applewood smoked bacon, which is around 7 slices, give or take a slice. Dice the bacon.
Lightly brown the bacon over medium heat. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
Take 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of chuck beef cut into 1 inch cubes. (The more marbling in the beef, the more tender it will be.) Dry the beef well with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. If the beef is too wet, it will not brown well.
Sear the beef in the remaining oil and bacon fat for about 3 -5 minutes until all sides are browned. Remove browned beef and set aside.
Take 1 pound of carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks and 2 yellow onions sliced,
Toss into the Dutch oven (which has the remaining fat from the browned beef) with some salt and pepper and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Once browned, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add 1/2 a cup of Cognac. If you do not have Cognac you can substitute with Brandy.
Now, here comes the scary part, once you add the Cognac, light a match and ignite to burn off the alcohol. Make sure to stand back, and remove your hand as quick as you can. If you want, you can skip this step. Just let the Cognac evaporate from the pot by stirring frequently for a few minutes.
Put the beef and bacon back into the pot with any juices left in the plate. Add a whole bottle or Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat.
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 300 degrees F, or until the meat and vegetables are very tender.
Mix 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 3 tablespoons of flour with a fork until it makes a paste.
Add flour/butter mixture to stew and add 1 pound of frozen pearl onions.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add sliced mushrooms. Saute for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are lightly browned.
Add mushrooms to stew and bring to a boil on the stove top. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve over toasted bread rubbed with garlic, over boiled potatoes or wide egg noodles.
1 large dutch oven with tight fitting lid
1 large skillet
2 – 2 1/2 pounds of chuck beef cut into 1 inch cubes
8 ounces of dry cured Applewood smoked bacon, diced
1 pound of carrots, sliced diagonally into 1 inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 – 2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of Cognac or Brandy
1 bottle (750 ml) bottle of dry red wine, preferably Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
2 cups of beef broth
1 pound of frozen Pearl onions
1 pound of fresh mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced, or a box of already sliced fresh mushrooms, white or Cremini
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the diced bacon and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
Dry beef cubes with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Sear the beef in the left over oil and bacon fat, for 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure to brown all sides. Remove once browned and set aside.
Add the sliced carrots and onions to the left over fat in the pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add 1/2 cup of Cognac to the pot and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Make sure to stand back and remove your hand ASAP, or you might singe your arm hairs! If this part scares you, you can skip the pyrotechnics and just stir the pot frequently to evaporate the alcohol. Now add the whole bottle of wine and enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in oven at 300 degrees F. for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are nice and tender.
Mix 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 3 tablespoons of flour with a fork to make a paste and stir into stew. Add the frozen pearl onions and give it a stir and continue to cook. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add to the pot and stir. Bring to boil on top of the stove, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste. You can serve over garlic rubbed toast, boiled potatoes or like I did, over wide egg noodles. Enjoy!