One of the reasons I bought Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was for this recipe. I finally decided to try it and although it is a lot of work, I would have to agree with Julia Child that it is one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, or maybe a woman concocted it. Regardless, its worth the effort. I recommend a pan that is stove top and oven adaptable. I used a stock pot for cooking and served in a casserole dish.
6 oz chunk of bacon
1 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbs flour
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as Chianti
2-3 cups brown beef stock
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18-24 small white onions, brown braised in stock (recipe follows)
1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter (recipe follows)
Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 in long) Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Saute the bacon in the oil for 2-3 minutes, remove to side dish. Saute the beef in bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides, set it aside with bacon.
Saute the carrots and onion in the same fat then pour out the sauteing fat. Add the beef and bacon to the vegetables and toss with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour and toss to coat. Set in oven uncovered, middle rack, for 4 minutes. Toss again and return to oven for 4 more minutes. Remove and turn down oven to 350 degrees.
On the stove top, stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer then cover and set in lower third of oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Assure the meat if covered with liquid at all time and it’s simmering slowly.
While the beef is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set aside as needed.
Brown Braised Onions
18-24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs oil
1/2 cup beef stock, wine, or water. (red or white wine is fine)
salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme.
When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onion and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in the liquid, season to taste, add the herbs. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs oil
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
Heat the butter and oil and as soon as it starts to foam add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly remove from heat.
Back to the Bourguignon:
When the meat is tender pour the contents into a sieve over a saucepan. Return the beef to pan and distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat. Skim fat off the sauce and simmer down until a consistency you like. Pour sauce over meat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve