Boeuf Bourguignon (Burgundy Beef Stew)
Â When the temperatures start dropping and the leaves start turning yellow and orange, don’t you just want some beef stew? I do. I liked my old way of making stew in which I first browned the stew meat and then threw in the vegetables and cooked the heck out of it. The way the French do it is, as you might expect, better. The secret is to cook everything seperately and then add it all together to cook in a wine and beef broth that fills the kitchen with incredible smells. It takes a bit longer but it sure is worth it.
Burgundy Beef Stew
3 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef
6 ounces lean salt pork or thick cut bacon
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 pound pearl onions
3/4 pound small button mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups red wine, burgundy is best
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Cut the beef into 2 inch pieces and dice the salt pork into thin strips.
In a large heavy pan, cook the pork over medium heat until golden brown, then remove and drain. Increase the heat to medium high and add enough meat to the pan to fit easily in one layer-don’t crowd or it won’t brown. Cook, turning to color all sides until well browned. Transfer to plates and continue to brown the meat in batches.
Â In a heavy frying pan, melt 1/3 of the butter, add the pearl onions and cook, stirring frequently, until even golden. Set aside.
In the same pan, melt half of theÂ 1/3 of theÂ butter and add the mushrooms and saute until golden and set aside with the pearl onions.
Â When all of the beef has been browned, pour off any fat and add the remaining butter. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened, stirring frequently. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stirÂ and cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine, tomato paste and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, scarping theÂ base of the pan.
Â Return the beef and bacon to the pan and pour on the broth to cover the meat-you may not need all of it. Cover the pan and simmer gently over low heat, stirring occaionally, for about 3 hours until the meat is very tender. Add the mushrooms and pearl onions and cook, covered, for 30 more minutes. Discard the bouquet garni and stir in the parsley and serve with boiled potatoes. I like to sprinkle the parsley over the potatoes too because it looks so pretty.
Â You will get raves about this dish. It is really special. Serve with some crusty bread toÂ scrape up all of the tasty gravy.