I'll admit it. When I first read through this month's Daring Cooks challenge, I thought "is all that really necessary for a beef stew?" Well, maybe not necessary but definitely worth it-I'd say this is the best beef stew I've ever made! Our May 2012 Daring Cooks' hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.
Oh, and did I mention it is a Julia Child's recipe, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking?
If you're interested, here's a link to Julia making this on You Tube, such a classic!
Yield: 6 hearty servings
Time: 5 hours
- 6 ounces bacon
- Olive oil
- 3 pounds beef, cut into chunks for stew
- Salt and pepper
- 3 TBSP flour
- 3 cups red wine
- 1 large carrot, cut in to chunks
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cups beef stock, plus 1/2-3/4 cup additional for onions
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- Fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf, crushed
- 3 TBSP butter
- 24 pearl onions
- 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove bacon rind (keep), cut bacon into lardons (sticks) and simmer both rind and bacon in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes.
- Drain and dry well with paper towels.
- Dry the beef well with paper towels.
- In a Dutch oven or other oven proof container, heat the olive oil and saute the lardons for 3 minutes until lightly brown; remove from oil.
- Saute beef in the same pan until browned; remove.
- Saute carrot and sliced onions in same pan for 5 minutes.
- Return lardons and beef to pan, season with salt and pepper, then toss all in the flour.
- Place pan in oven for 5 minutes to further brown meat (I really didn't see any difference so I'd skip this next time).
- Remove pan and stir in wine, 2 cups of stock, tomato paste, garlic, a handful of thyme leaves, the bay leaf (crushed), and the blanched bacon rind.
- Bring to a simmer on the stove top, cover and place in oven.
- Turn oven down to 250 degrees and cook for 3 1/2-4 hours until meat is fall apart tender (check occasionally that stew is just gently simmering).
- While stew is cooking, saute the peeled pearl onions in 1 TBSP butter until brown then cover with stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes until most of liquid disappears.
- Saute mushrooms in remaining butter until browned and released liquid is reabsorbed.
- When meat is cooked, remove pan from oven and let sit for a few minutes.
- Skim off any fat (I had fairly lean meat, so there really wasn't anything to skim off).
- Stir in mushrooms and onions, taste for seasoning, and heat to bubbling.
- Serve with sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.
Really a fantastic meal! Thanks Fabi for reminding us of this classic dish.
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