When my kids were younger, I made Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon and I’ll never forget my youngest son’s reaction – “Mom, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” The dish is a little time intensive, so it’s not something I make often, but the result is well worth the time spent! This dark, rich dish remains one of my family’s favorites.
So, if you have a special occasion, or if you’re entertaining friends and family, give this dish a try!
- 6 ounces of chunk bacon (cut into lardons)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 lbs. lean stewing beef (rump roast, sirloin tip or chuck roast are cuts that work; cut into 2 inch cubes)
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 3 cups full bodied wine (like a Chianti)
- 2-3 cups beef stock or canned beef bouillon
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1 crumbled bay leaf
- 18-25 small pearl onions (braised in stock)
- 1 lb. fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter
- Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large dutch oven or 9-10 inch fireproof casserole dish, sauté bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Dry the beef in paper towels for better browning. In batches, sear the beef on all sides in the Dutch oven. Set aside with the bacon.
- Back in the pot (in the same fat), add the sliced carrots and onions; sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. Pour out the sautéing fat.
- Return the bacon and beef back to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper, then sprinkle with flour and toss. Place in the center of the oven for 4 minutes. (this browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust)
- Remove pot from oven; toss beef and place back in the oven for 4 more minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F.
- Stir the wine and stock into the pot. The liquid should barely cover the meat and vegetables. Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme. Bring to a light simmer on the stove, then cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pierced.
- In the last hour of cooking, bring 1 1/2 tbsp. butter and 2 tsp. oil to a medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they've browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in 1/2 cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender.
- Remove the onions and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining butter and oil and bring to a medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to coat with the butter.
- Place a colander over a large pot. Drain the beef stew through the colander and into the pot. Place the pot with the sauce over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming the fat from the top. Pour the beef and vegetables back into the dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot. Pour the sauce over the beef mix and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with potatoes, rice or noodles.