Beef Bourguignon is a french term for Beef Stew in a Red Wine sauce. Just because it’s a french dish, doesn’t make it difficult. This menu is a winning combination. You will need a dutch oven or stew pot, your stove top and your oven to make this meal.
This meal is formal enough for Sunday dinner and flexible enough to nourish your body during a hectic work week. I often make this dish a day ahead if I am serving to guests on a weeknight and it reheats nicely. I serve this meal with mashed potatoes as you see here along with a refreshing green salad and rolls. Sometimes, I put the leftovers in a bowl and microwave it until done. Either way, it’s the perfect comfort meal this time of year and a warm welcome on cold fall days.
Tired of cold, clumpy mashed potatoes? Most people think if they just pour hot gravy over the top, magically it heats your potatoes through. Wrong. If you are a planner, you feverishly attempt to time the potatoes with the entree so everything makes it to the table at the same time. Here is a great trick to help you serve up piping hot mashed potatoes on your schedule. When your peeled potatoes are finished cooking and you are draining the water, put your collander over a large bowl and pour in contents. This way, you are catching your potatoes in the collander and reserving the hot potato water. Add the hot potato water back into the pot the potatoes cooked in and place it back on the stove over medium heat. In a large glass bowl, mash your potatoes and add your milk, butter, salt and pepper as you usually would and place the glass bowl of mashed potatoes over the hot water bath on the stovetop. Top with lid to pot. Turn heat to low and let them hang out until you are ready for them. Every time I do this, my guests are amazed that dinner is not only on the table at the same time, but that the potatoes aren’t cold!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
4 to 6 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
2 lbs of beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt & Pepper
6 medium carrots cut in one inch slices on the bias at an angle
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. Cognac
1 bottle of dry red wine
2 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 t. fresh thyme leaves
3 T. flour
1 bag frozen pearl onions
3/4 lb. mushrooms
fresh chopped parsley
In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add bacon. Cook about 8 minutes stirring occassionally until bacon is cooked through. Spoon out in to a large bowl.
Sprinkle beef chunks with salt and pepper and add them to duch oven. Cook over medium heat until browned. Turn as necessary. Remove beef and add to reserved bacon in bowl.
Add carrots and sliced onions to dutch oven, stirring occassionally until slightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and stir. At this time, I add the Cognac, but I do this step outside. Afterall, alcohol is flammable and heating it over an open flame is a good idea if you want to replace your kitchen. It feels a little odd taking your dutch oven outside, but I think it is better to do that than to catch my kitchen on fire. Pour in the Cognac and light with a flicker. Be sure to stand back! After flames subside, bring it back into the house and back on your stove. Add the bacon and beef mixture back in and pour in your bottle of red wine. If you want to sneak a small glass of wine at this time, I won’t tell anyone! Pour in the beef broth until beef is just covered. Add the mushrooms, tomato paste and thyme and stir. Cover stew and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cook for an hour and a half in the oven at 250 degrees. When removing stew from oven, the meat and vegetables should be very tender.
In a small sturdy container with lid, add 1/4 C. beef broth from stew and flour. Put on tight fitting lid and shake until flour dissolves. Add flour/broth mixture back to stew pot and stir. Add the frozen onions and cook over med heat for about 15 minutes. Season to taste. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Serves 6 to 8.
Spider Web and Fall Leaves pictures courtesy Jolene Hansen 2009