French Beef Stew (Boeuf Bourguignon)
- Light olive oil or peanut oil
- 12 oz thick applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 3 lbs chuck beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into chunks or coins
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 10 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup Cognac
- 2 cups good Pinot Noir (or other good quality dry red)
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 TB room temp butter
- 3 TB flour
- 1 lb frozen pearl onions, whole
- 1 lb fresh button or cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat 2 TB oil in large Dutch oven (or heavy, oven-safe pot with tight fitting lid.) Add bacon and cook over medium until evenly and lightly browned throughout. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a large plate. Remaining oil and grease should stay in the pot.
Using paper towels, thoroughly dry uncooked beef and sprinkle the cubes evenly with a thin layer of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Reheat the oil/bacon grease in the Dutch oven and sear the beef cubes in a single layer, working in batches, until each cube is brown on all sides. Do not over crowd the pan, making sure to leave some space between each piece of beef. Add more oil as needed to finish browning. Set beef aside in plate with the bacon.
If needed, add 2 TB to pot and heat oil. Add carrots, onions, garlic, 1 TB kosher salt, 2 tsp black pepper and saute for 5 minutes until onions are lightly browned. Deglaze bottom of pot, adding 1 TB oil as needed. Add Cognac and cook another 10 minutes on medium.
Add beef and bacon back into Dutch oven with their juices. Add the wine and enough beef broth to almost cover all the meat. Add tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Once liquid is reaches a simmer, cover the pot with tight fitting lid and place in oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender when pierced with fork.
Meanwhile, mix together 2 TB butter with 3 TB flour in small bowl and set aside. Saute mushrooms with 2 TB butter in skillet just until mushrooms start to become soft.
Remove stew from oven. Add the butter/flour mixture, frozen pearl onions, and mushrooms to the stew. Bring to a boil on stovetop and immediately reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off any fat off the top. Remove bay leaves. Season with additional kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread or egg noodles.