Do not be intimidated by this recipe. Yes there are quite a few steps to it, but each step is necessary to ensure the perfect balance of flavor. This boeuf bourguignon is a perfect Sunday night meal. You can make an afternoon of it by putting on some French music while you prep and perhaps even sipping on a nice glass of wine…just maybe chop all your ingredients first before you hit the bottle, we don’t need any injuries. Be present and organized while you prepare this, it will make for an enjoyable cooking experience.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Kosher (course) salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, sliced diagonally in 1 inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone, Cabernet or Pinot Noir, reserve 1/4 cup and set aside for later
- 2-3 cups beef stock, or enough to almost cover the beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced thick
- *Optional 1 pound frozen whole onions (I’m not a fan)
Preheat oven to 250F
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil and bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, onions, celery, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper into the pot and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine (remember to reserve 1/4 cup, you’ll use it in the mushrooms later.) Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the beef stock making sure there is enough to almost cover the beef, add more if needed. Add the tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a fork.
Once the Bourguignon is done, remove it from the oven. Combine 2 tablespoons butter and the flour with a fork to form a paste and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions if using.
In a medium sauté pan, cook the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned, add the 1/4 cup of wine and cook 1 minute then add them to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste, divide into bowls and enjoy with more wine if you didn’t finish it while cooking!
How to serve it:
I like to brush slices of French bread with butter and warm them in the oven for just a few minutes, then rub a garlic clove on them to add just a hint of flavor. Then place the bread in the bowl and serve the stew over it.
You can serve over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes if you’d prefer.