recipe

January 14, 2021

Beef Bourguignon

What do food and cooking mean to me? It’s about breaking bread and making connections. It’s why we celebrate Holidays with feasts and buffets and smorgasbords full of abundant platters of food. We create new friendships and discover new things about each other over a lively dinner conversation. Cooking and eating bring me closer to the people I love.

I cooked my first beef bourguignon directly from Julia Child’s, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One, which I borrowed from the shelf in the True North Island Cabin. I went to the local butcher in Minneapolis and asked for lardons, and she cut me thick slices of bacon (who knew they were the same?). I bought fresh pearl onions where Kurt had frozen, and I carefully peeled and crosscut each one (completely not worth it for future iterations). I used chanterelle mushrooms that in later years I would find wild in the woods around Ely.  I was working at the Twin Cities Reader, the alternative weekly newspaper, selling classified ads, and we could barely afford the chuck steak, let alone the fancy cabernet I carelessly wasted on the sauce.

I served the bourguignon in my new five-quart Le Creuset, found at a vintage shop, and the two of us drank the rest of the good wine and remembered that first meal on True North Island.  

* This Beef Bourguignon is adapted from Julia Child’s eponymous recipe from her cookbook, “Mastering The Art of French Cooking.”  

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I like to use Chuck Roast)
  • 1 carrot sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a micro plane
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bag frozen small pearl onions (14-16 oz.)
  • 3 cups red wine like (Chianti, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 3 cups beef stock or beef consommé
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stalks and finely chopped
  • 1-pound fresh mushrooms (you can use white or portobello, quartered)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes, until crisp and browned.
  • Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the fat until browned on all sides.
  • Remove to a dish
  • In the remaining fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute.
  • Drain excess fat and return the bacon and beef back into the pot, season with kosher salt and course ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown. (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust)
  • Add wine and stock so that the meat is covered.
  • Then add the tomato paste. Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove.
  • Cover casserole and set in lower third of the oven.
  • Cook at 350 for 2.5 hours.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, slice and prepare your mushrooms: Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Add thawed pearl onions and cook for 2 minutes more. Mushrooms should be slightly browned and onions heated through.
  • Add browned mushrooms and thawed pearl onions to the Dutch oven.
  • Cover and return to the oven for 15 more minutes
  • Stir to combine.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. If serving a large crowd arrange stew on a platter surrounded with noodles and decorated with parsley.

 

 

 

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I like to use Chuck Roast)
  • 1 carrot sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a micro plane
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bag frozen small pearl onions (14-16 oz.)
  • 3 cups red wine like (Chianti, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 3 cups beef stock or beef consommé
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stalks and finely chopped
  • 1-pound fresh mushrooms (you can use white or portobello, quartered)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 5 minutes, until crisp and browned.
  • Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the fat until browned on all sides.
  • Remove to a dish
  • In the remaining fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute.
  • Drain excess fat and return the bacon and beef back into the pot, season with kosher salt and course ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown. (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust)
  • Add wine and stock so that the meat is covered.
  • Then add the tomato paste. Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove.
  • Cover casserole and set in lower third of the oven.
  • Cook at 350 for 2.5 hours.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, slice and prepare your mushrooms: Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Add thawed pearl onions and cook for 2 minutes more. Mushrooms should be slightly browned and onions heated through.
  • Add browned mushrooms and thawed pearl onions to the Dutch oven.
  • Cover and return to the oven for 15 more minutes
  • Stir to combine.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. If serving a large crowd arrange stew on a platter surrounded with noodles and decorated with parsley.