I remember watching Julia Child’s TV show when i was a young lad of say 12 or 13. I had already fallen in love with cooking and she just fanned the flames of my passion. This was perhaps her most famous recipe and for whatever reason, I hadn’t attempted it before. It is wonderful!
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices of good smoked bacon, roughly chopped
2-3 lbs beef (brisket, chuck or stewing beef) trimmed of fat cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large carrot sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large onion, diced (or pearl onions or both)
6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
2 Tbs flour
12 oz bag of frozen pearl onions (optional)
3 cups of good red wine (you can get by with 2 replacing the 3rd with stock, but why?)
2-3 cups beef stock
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed (or 1 Tbs of Beef Better than Bouillon)
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)
2 bay leaves
8 oz fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered or sliced
2 Tbs butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot. Sauté the bacon over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.
- Pat dry beef with a paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.
- In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat (leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan) and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with 1/2 tsp coarse salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
- Add the pearl onions, wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bullion and herbs.
- Cover, transfer to the lower part of the oven, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over medium heat.. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring or shaking the pan occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Once they are browned, set aside.
- Remove the beef sauce mixture from the oven. Skim any fat ( if any) off the surface if the sauce with a spoon.
- Remove bay leaves and then add the mushrooms to the sauce and beef mixture and stir.
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some stock. If the sauce is too thin, continue to cook over medium heat until reduced to the right consistency (~10 minutes max).
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles. Ladle the mixture over the potatoes, rice or noodles.
STOVETOP BEEF BOURGUIGNON:
- Complete steps 2-5 as described above.
- Cover Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling apart.
- Complete steps 7-12 as described above.
SLOW COOKER BEEF BOURGUIGNON:
- Complete step 3 as described above. Except cook bacon and sear beef in a large skillet instead of a Dutch Oven.
- Transfer the beef bacon mixture to a slow cooker then add in the onions (both types) and carrots. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt or substitute and 1/4 tsp ground pepper, tossing well to combine.
- Pour the red wine into the skillet to deglaze the bits of beef and bacon stuck to the bottom. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then whisk in the flour until free from lumps. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly, then pour it into the slow cooker along with 2 cups of stock, tomato paste, garlic, bullion, and herbs
- Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on high heat setting for 6 hours or low for 8 hours, or until beef is falling apart and tender.
- Complete steps 7-12 as described in the oven version except using the crock pot.
Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles.