I was flipping through recipes at the NY Times website when I came across Mark Bittman’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe. What caught my eye was: TOTAL TIME 2 HOURS. “No way”, I thought. Most of the BB recipes I have made in the past require an overnight marinade, and 6 hours of cooking. Since it was Mark Bittman’s recipe, I decided to give it a whirl, with a few adaptations of my own, of course!
Olive oil for sautéing
1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (Regular “Sunday” bacon is ok too!)
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish
1/2 bottle dry red wine, pinot noir preferred
12 small, button mushrooms, trimmed and cut in half
12 pearl onions – I like the convenience of the frozen ones
Cook the bacon cubes in a little oil in a heavy Dutch oven that has a lid. When bacon cubes are crisp, remove from pan and set aside. Add meat in batches, not overcrowding the pan, and brown on all sides over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. Remove from pan and set aside.
Turn heat down to medium and add onions, carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and parsley.
Cook until all vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add wine and simmer about 5 minutes.
Return meat to pan. Bring back to a slow simmer. Cover and cook about an hour. (Because I had extra cooking time available, I continued this phase about two hours. You could also transfer this to a crock pot and cook on low, 6 hours at this stage.)
Add the onions, mushrooms and bacon to the pan. Return to simmer and cook an additional 30-40 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
I chose to thicken the stew up a bit with the Buerre Manie technique below.
Buerre Manie for thickening
2 Tablespoons of flours
2 tablespoons of butter
Knead the flour into the butter with your fingers. Make tiny, pea sized balls. Add two – three at a time to the simmering stew, until desired thickness is achieved.
Extra instructions here:
Mashed potatoes for serving – we like red potatoes. We do not remove the peels.
PS – I hope you are noticing the improvements in the photos! I took an awesome (and FREE) Food Photography class on line at CreateLIVE this weekend. What an amazing resource. Check them out at www.creativeLIVE.com.