Boeuf Bourgignon

Ingredients

Best when made a day before.

  • 1/4 lb thick-sliced bacon
  • 3 lbs boneless beef chuck, cubed to 1 1/2"
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 (4-inch) piece of celery
  • 4 fresh parsley stems (no leaves)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves (not California)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped into 1/4" slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (750ml) bottle dry red wine
  • 1 lb small boiling onions or pearl onions
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • Special equipment: kitchen string

Preparation

  • Cook bacon in boiling salted water 3 minutes, then drain. Season meat with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, brown beef well on all sides in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, adding oil as needed. Transfer meat to a bowl.
  • Pour off excess oil from pot, then add brandy to pot. Boil over high heat 1 minute, stirring and scraping, then pour over beef.
  • Tie celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves together with string to make a bouquet garni. In 1 tablespoon butter sauté bacon 2 minutes. Add chopped onions, garlic, and carrots. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute. Add wine, meat with juices, and bouquet garni and simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is tender, 3.5 to 4 hours.
  • While meat simmers, blanch boiling onions in salted water, then peel and sauté in 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water then simmer, partially covered, until onions are tender, 15 minutes. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon of butter and sauté mushrooms until golden brown and any liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in onions and mushrooms, cook 10 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and skim fat from surface of stew. Season with salt and pepper.
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