What a blustery, wintry weekend here in Seattle. We have not had heavy wind and rain like this for months. The weather put me in the mood for a comforting, hearty meal like Boeuf Bourguignon. I was really surprised when I brought this recipe up for reference yesterday. I could not believe it had been over two years since I first posted it! And, like may bloggers whose skills have improved over time, I was totally appalled by the earlier photos. So, here is one of our very favorite meals, looking a lot better than it did a couple of years ago.
Olive oil for sautéing
1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (Regular “Sunday” bacon is ok too!)
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced*
4 stalks celery, diced
6 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish
1 bottle dry red wine, pinot noir preferred
12-15 small, button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
12-15 pearl onions – I like the convenience of the frozen ones
4 tablespoons of butter, divided, for sautéing onions and mushrooms
2-3 teaspoons of Bisto for thickening
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. (I tie the herbs together with a cooking twine, making it easy to remove the stems, when finished cooking.) Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add wine and simmer 5 more 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 three hours. You could also transfer this to a crock pot and cook on low, 6 hours at this stage.)
In a separate pan, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter until they are browned. Do the same with the mushrooms.
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, you guessed it, a little Bisto. Serve with mashed potatoes, great bread and a hearty red wine. My absolute favorite Washington Syrah, from L’Ecole 41 pairs perfectly with this dish!
Have a wonderful evening,
*Here’s a mini dicing lesson….
Peel the carrots and then cut them into uniform lengths, based on their thickness.
Slice the rounded edges off to form a rectangular carrot. Slice the rectangle into planks. Cut the planks into strips. Proceed to dice.