About three weeks ago, my best friend and I decided to make boeuf bourguignon. Yes, like many others, we were inspired by Meryl Streep as the superb Julia Child. It took us about 5 hours to prepare and cook this luscious stew, but it was one of the most amazing things either of us have ever made. Here’s our version, with pictures.
1/3 lb thick cut bacon (plain, not smoked or flavored)
3 lb rump roast cut into 2 inch cubes (we had the butcher do it)
1 tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion halved and sliced
3 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced at a slight angle
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs flour
3 cups red wine (we used a La Veielle Ferme)
1 small can tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
24 fresh pearl onions, peeled
½ cup beef stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 tbs butter
2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 lb medium-sized white mushrooms, quartered
How we made the stew:
Set an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cool the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the beef. Remove the pot from the heat.
Pat the beef dry with paper towel.
Add the olive or vegetable oil to the pot with the bacon fat and set over medium-high heat. When it is smoking hot, add the cubes of beef a few at a time. Brown on each side. Remove the cooked pieces of beef from the pot and set on top of the bacon as you go along.
Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook until lightly browned. Remove the vegetables and place in a small colander over a paper towel to drain off any cooking fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the flour into the pot. Set the pot, uncovered, in the oven.
Cook four minutes, and then give the beef a stir and roast four minutes more.
Return the pot to the stovetop. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Slowly stir the wine into the beef. Add enough beef stock to cover the meat (about 1 1/2 cups). Return vegetables to the pot. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer.
Cover and return the pot to the over, to cook for 3 hours or until the meat is so tender it can be easily pierced with a fork.
Remove the beef and vegetables once more. Skim any oil from the sauce in saucepan. Simmer the sauce until reduced to about to 2 1/2 cups; it should be thick enough to just very lightly coat a spoon. Taste the sauce for seasoning. Return the beef et al. to the pot and simmer for a few minutes on the stovetop.
How we made the onions and mushrooms:Melt 1 tbs butter with 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When the two are bubbling, add the onions and saute about 10 minutes, rolling the onions around so they brown as evenly as possible.
Pour in the beef stock, cover, lower the heat to its lowest setting, and very slowly cook the onions until tender (about 30 minutes). Remove from the heat and add to the stew before serving.
For the mushrooms, melt 2 tbs butter with 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter’s foam starts to subside, add the mushrooms in small batches. As Julia says, “don’t crowd the mushrooms.” Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have browned lightly and are just tender.
We served the mushrooms on the side, along with homemade mashed potatoes.
DIVINE!!! The perfect Sunday supper. And the leftovers were even more splendid the next day.