Beef Bourguignon is an easy, classic and delicious meal for special occasions. I suggest you make this a day ahead then reheat it so the flavors come to their full bloom.
When I a kid I wasn’t particularly interested in sports. As opposed to Joe Namath and Mickey Mantle, my idols were culinary icons such as Julia Childs and Graham Kerr, and later, David Rosengarten. These masters would grace my home with their presence on our black and white Zenith television. There I would sit in awe and be trained and entertained by my heroes.
Each of my social culinarians had their way with delicious wine filled, slow roasted Beef Bourguignon and, while mine is traditional, I’ve added my own twists. This is the perfect foundation for any special occasion dinner.
Bungalow Chef’s Beef Bourguignon
Yield 6-8 Servings
Equipment: Large heavy frying pan – cast iron works well, a large saucepan to reduce the wine and a large covered roasting pan. (I use an old enameled roasting pan that belonged to my grandmother.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1/2 lb. bacon (country or slab style) diced fine
4 lbs beef chuck cut into 1.5-inch cubes
1 cup or more of flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 lbs boiling onions (1 lb white or yellow and 1 lb red onions) skin removed
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch coins
15 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
3 cups low sodium beef stock or broth
3/4 cup Cognac
2 1/2 bottles of 750 Ml. Red Burgundy wine (Purchase 3 bottles and pour yourself a nice glass or two.) Simmer and reduce by one third. Cheers to the Chef!
1.5 lbs brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons dried thyme and a few springs fresh (optional if fresh isn’t available)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Sauté the bacon in the frying pan until it is crisp, remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve the drippings.
Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour. Using the same frying pan, brown the meat in small batches, using a small about of the bacon drippings combined with a little olive oil. Take your time! You want the meat to caramelize and brown before you turn it to the next to repeat the process.
Place the browned meat into the roasting pan, reserving those “fonds”, the brown bits of flavor from the browning process.
Now brown the onions, carrots, and garlic in the same pan using the same process. Place everything in the roasting pan.
Deglaze the frying pan by adding the cognac then the beef stock. Reduce until it is a glaze, making sure to scrape up all brown bits. Add to the roasting ban.
Add the brown sugar and tomato paste to the reduced wine and mix well then pour the mixture to the roasting pan. Toss in the mushrooms, bacon, and thyme.
Place in the oven uncovered for 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Check the meat, when it is fork tender it’s done. Taste for additional salt and pepper.
(This can be cooled down and served the next day, heating on low heat.)