Boeuf Bourguignon is one of the most delicious french dishes….hearty, warming, a delicious combination of beef, carrots, onions and mushrooms cooked in wine. One of those perfect cold-weather dishes that qualifies as comfort food. And this is one of the dishes Julia Child was famous for. This is my version, which is a frequent dish in our house…my husband calls this delicious boeuf bourguignon one of his all-time favorites. Make sure you get very good quality beef chuck (it will make all the difference).
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup brandy
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as merlot or burgundy
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 oz frozen pearl onions
8 oz fresh mushrooms stems trimmed and thickly sliced or quartered
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the bowl with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the brandy, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Stir in the mustard and lemon juice. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the boeuf bourguignon in bowls with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and some warm crusty french bread on the side.