Beef Bourguignon

Sundays are my days to be domestic. I wash all the clothes for the week (including sheets and towels), I clean the “man cave” (vacuum up dog hair and dust) and usually I cook a good meal that will provide leftovers for a day or two. Most Sundays I cook a country meal with some stewed vegetables and fried proteins and a pan of cornbread, but then some Sundays I like to pull out all the stops and make a dish that requires a little more prep and cook time; a dish you couldn’t make during the week unless you don’t work.

Today I’m making one of the best recipes I’ve ever followed (because I rarely follow a recipe), a classic, Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon. It’s not an “easy” recipe but it doesn’t require a lot of cooking skill, so don’t be threatened by this delicious dish. Just allow yourself a Sunday afternoon and let the oven do all the work, because it requires a long cooking time to turn out right.

  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 # beef stew meat cut into cubes (I use a chuck roast or sirloin tip roast)
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 bottle red wine (I use something heavy like a Merlot or a Cabernet)
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 # mushrooms
Preheat oven to 400F. In a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid (I use a Le Creuset oval Dutch oven I found at the “thrift store” for $4.88), cook the bacon over medium heat to render out the fat and brown the bacon. Add the olive oil to the bacon, the carrot and the onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat to medium high.
Flour the diced beef and cook in the pan with the onion/carrot/bacon mixture, browning the beef on all sides. Once the beef is browned, add to the pan, the bottle of wine (whole bottle), beef stock (can be purchased or made from bouillon cubes), garlic, thyme, bay leaf and frozen pearl onions. Turn down to medium and cover with lid.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter and saute the mushrooms have absorbed the butter. Add mushrooms to the meat mixture in the dutch oven, then remove from the heat and cover. Put covered dish in the oven and turn down the temp to 325F.
Cook for 3-4 hours, or until meat it fork tender and sauce has thickened itself. Serve over rice or for a traditional presentation, cooked egg noodles.
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