The past week or so has been all about cooking (when isn’t it, though?) and visiting, as my parents came to visit us from Arizona. I don’t get many chances to cook for them, so — as I always do — I had planned plenty of delicious meals. However, I was so caught up in visiting with them that I didn’t really take photos of anything.
This Beef Bourguignon dish was so delicious, though, that I didn’t want to wait until I made it again to share the recipe. Just imagine chunks of tender meat, slowly cooked in a red wine sauce, and there you have beef bourguignon. This recipe was really made famous by Julia Child — I happened to visit a replica of her kitchen this weekend at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum — but I did things slightly different, though still staying true to the traditional dish.
This dish has a reputation of being fussy and time-consuming, but that’s not really the case. There’s about 20-30 minutes of prep work involved at the beginning, but then you can let the oven work its magic by itself for the next two hours. I’m sure you can make it in the slow-cooker, but letting the dish braise in the oven made the most succulent, tender meat I have ever tasted. It was so worth it.
2.5 pound chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup vermouth
1 bottle good, dry red wine
2 cups beef broth
6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups pearl onions (Optional. You can find them in Trader Joe’s freezer section. They are traditional, but I will omit them next time due to our tastes.)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crispy, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Make sure the cubes of beef are dry, and then season them with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the cubes to the pot in a single layer, browning them on all sides. Remove them to the same plate as the bacon.
Add the carrots and onions to the pot and cook for 10 minutes until the carrots are slightly tender. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for one more minute, then add the vermouth to deglaze the pan. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and let it cook for one minute. Return the beef and bacon to the pot, and then pour in the red wine and enough beef broth to cover the meat. Add tomato paste and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Place the pot into the oven and cook at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven and return to the stove top at a medium temperature. Add the butter and flour, whisking it into the stew to thicken it. Add frozen pearl onions, if using. Simmer for 15 minutes, and then season to taste. Serve immediately over mashed or roasted potatoes, dinner rolls, or egg noodles.