Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beef Burgundy, Beef Bourguignonne

I have a confession to make. A very long time ago (ok...maybe it wasn't that long ago) I was reading a cookbook, and I came across a word I didn't know. Mirepoix. I had just learned that haricots verts were fancy french green beans, so, after some careful deductions, I decided mirepoix must be a fancy pea. I thought that for quite some time. Several months probably. I am just glad I wasn't talking to someone who knew the truth. You know, one of those French chef's I know....
Just a random FYI. Mirepoix is a combination of carrots, celery, and onions, for those of you who don't know. What is usually found as the base of stock or soup. Good to know...right?

This recipe is great. Just perfect. It is a delicious stew that is just perfect for these cool days when its nice to have something bubbling away in the oven to keep the house warm. I love serving it with steamed potatoes and fresh bread. If you do not have or do not like mushrooms, just leave them out. I also frequently skip the pearl onions, traditional though they may be.
Happy Fall!

4 Bacon slices, roughly chopped
1 1/2 lbs boneless stew meat
8 oz cremini or shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups red wine, such as burgundy (or use beef broth)
3 cups beef broth
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
fresh rosemary sprig (4 inches long)
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 carrots, cut into quarters, then halved
1 cup fresh pearl onion, peeled, or frozen petite whole onions, thawed
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Fry the bacon in an ovenproof heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
Set the pot over high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms, onion, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, bay leaf, brown sugar, and bacon. Add salt to taste. Stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and pearl onions. Bake, uncovered, until the carrots and meat are tender, about 30 minutes more. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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