As soon as the chill of autumn arrives, we make our favorite stew… Beef Bourguignon. Our version and a Sunday Supper staple in our house is well worth the wait for the cold weather months. Make sure to shop for the groceries the day before so you can take your time as you prepare this deliciousness. And so you can savor the smells all day long…
- ½ lb. thick, center-cut bacon, cut into lardons
- 3 lbs. chuck beef, cut into 1½ inch cubes
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1lb. carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, ½ diced and ½ sliced thickly
- 3 teaspoons garlic, chopped finely
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons each of unsalted butter and EVOO
- Smidge of vanilla sugar
- ½ lb. mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
- Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
Remove beef from packaging, transfer to a platter and place it in the fridge to air chill for up to 24 hours.
A half hour before cooking, remove beef from fridge, season it with salt and pepper and let it come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Heat a large Dutch oven on the stove. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is brown and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large platter. Set aside. Leave rendered bacon fat in Dutch oven.
Up the heat to medium high and in single layer batches… brown the beef on all sides, moving cooked pieces to the platter with the bacon. Continue cooking until all the beef is brown and crisp on all sides. Set aside.
Pour off rendered fat in Dutch oven leaving a film of fat in the bottom. Add the chopped onions to the fat, season with salt and cook for 10 to minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute until the tomato paste starts to caramelize. Put the beef and half the bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine, bay leaf and fresh thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Place it in the oven to braise for about 2 hours. Add the reserved carrots the last half hour of cooking. The meat and carrots will be very tender when pierced with a fork.
In the meantime, heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high, melt the butter. Add the EVOO, sliced onions and the mushrooms. Brown stirring with tongs for even cooking. When mushrooms are browned, turn heat down to low, season with salt and pepper and add a smidge of vanilla sugar and a jigger of water. Stir and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes adding more water if needed to avoid burning.
To serve, spoon the stew into a large serving bowl, top with mushroom onion mixture and reserved bacon lardons. Garnish with chopped parsley.