If you're thinking there's nothing new in the zoo about a stew, you haven't tasted this one.
Ina Garten's version of beef bourguignon is loaded with all the stuff a good stew contains including bacon, well browned chunks of beef and a flavorful base of onions, garlic and carrots but it really is put together in a rather beautiful way. Braised in a sea of red wine and beef stock in a low oven for several hours, pearl onions and sauteed mushrooms are added at the very end of the cooking time for an amazing treat of varied textures and flavors.
I'll admit I made a few changes to the recipe so be sure to hit the link and head direct to the source for the original. Personally, I like a thicker, more intensely flavored braise so I used only half the red wine called for and substituted canned beef consomme for the beef stock. I didn't use cognac to flame my veggies either before reintroducing the meat to the pot, mostly because I didn't have any on hand; however, I finished the stew with a glug of dry marsala and boy did it ever pick up the flavor. Served as Ina suggested on a bed of crispy toasted garlic bread, it is absolutely knock your socks off delicious.
The best part as far as I'm concerned is there's no way on earth you could make it in anything but a nice big heavy Dutch oven in a low slow oven so it cooks for hours and warms the house with lovely aromas. In other words to be perfectly blunt, it won't work worth a darn in one of those electric slow cooker contraptions so don't even go there. Just sayin'.
Beef Bourguignon (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Ina Garten, foodnetwork.com)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound thick cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
1 pound carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups good red wine (I used Cabernet)
1 – 10 ounce can beef consommé
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 – 12 ounce package frozen pearl onions, thawed & drained
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons instant blending flour mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup dry marsala wine
Preheat oven to 300. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to crisp. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Increase heat to medium high. Dry beef with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Brown in batches on all sides, removing to a bowl when done. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from Dutch oven. Add carrots and onions and cook until onions begin to turn brown. Add garlic and cook additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Return beef and bacon to the pot. Add wine, consommé, tomato paste and thyme leaves. Heat to boiling, then cover and place into oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until vegetables and meat are very tender. Remove pot from oven and place on low heat.
Heat a large sauté pan and when hot add butter. Add pearl onions and sauté until golden. Add onions to beef. Reheat sauté pan with butter and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms have given off moisture and are golden brown. Add to beef. Mix together flour and water and stir into pot. Bring pot to a low simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Stir in marsala wine and cook another minute. Serve over toasted garlic bread. Makes 6 servings.
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