Boeuf bourguignon is a traditional French peasant dish, but it seems quite luxurious to me, in both flavor and nutrients. On top of this, it is surprisingly easy and relatively inexpensive to make (if you don’t count the dry red wine). And, like many good things, it takes some time to prepare and cook.
I’m lucky enough to have a friend who is not only French, but also loves to cook and share her recipes. Armelle was kind enough to share her version of boeuf bourguignon. Thanks, Armelle!
Traditionally this dish is made in one pot, and cooks for about 6 to 8 hours. Armelle has managed to get this down to 3 to 4 hours, with no loss of quality – and possibly even richer flavors by roasting the vegetables.
- 4 slices bacon diced into 1 inch pieces
- 3 pounds boneless chuck or other beef stew cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3 medium carrots trimmed and diced
- 1 bottle dry red wine or 1/2 bottle of wine and about 1 3/4 cups of beef or vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to your taste
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms diced
- 8 ounces frozen pearl onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a frying pan on medium heat, cook the bacon slices until they start to brown. Set them aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Salt and pepper the beef and then add it in small batches in the frying pan on medium heat, just until all the sides are lightly browned. By doing this in small batches you prevent the meat from sweating, so less moisture develops in the pan and the meat is seared instead of boiled.
- Put the browned beef aside and pour about 1/3 cup of water into the pan and bring it to a boil. Cook until all the brown bits are loosened and the liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons (about 3 minutes).
- Add the garlic, and onion, and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- n a large stockpot or saucepan, add the meat, wine, garlic & onion mixture, carrots, bacon, meat & juices, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover.
- Now, here's where you can diverge. You can roast the pearl onions and the mushrooms (tossed in olive oil and salt & pepper) in an oven for about 40 minutes at 425 degrees F. Or, you can just add them to the simmering pot. The roasted vegetables do add more flavor, but either way works.
- If you've roasted the vegetables, when they're done, just add them to the simmering pot. Total simmer time is 3 to 4 hours.
- Serve with mashed cauliflower.