Beef Bourguignon

4 to 4 1/4 pounds beef chuck - 2" cube
8 ounces bacon - 1/2" sliced
2 cups sliced onion
1 cup small Roma tomatoes - cut coarsely
1 cup carrots - peeled and sliced 1/2"
4 cups fresh champignon (button) mushrooms - cut in half
24 pieces pearl onions
1 bottle red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 spice bag of bouquet garni
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 2 TBS butter (for thickening sauce)
4 tablespoons olive oil (for browning bacon, beef, onions, tomatoes, and carrots)
2 tablespoons olive oil (for braising pearl onions and champignon mushrooms)
4 tablespoons butter (for braising pearl onions and champignon mushrooms)

Bouquet Garni: In a spice bag (you can buy these bags from stores), put all the herbs below and tiewell: 1 teaspoon thyme or 3 sprigs thyme (cut to fit the small bouquet garni bags), 6 to 8 cloves, 1 big bayleaf (break into 4 pieces), 3 cloves garlic - smashed,8 sprigs flat parsley (cut into 1"). If you do not have a spice bag, you can make one by cutting 4" square from cheesecloth. Wrap all small herbs in. Tie into a bundle with a kitchen twine.

Step 1: Brown bacon with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a casserole, leaving the oil in the pan. In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown cubed beef on all sides, and then transfer to the casserole. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan, and brown sliced onions until transparent. Then, add tomatoes and carrots, and brown for 3 minutes and transfer to casserole. Deglaze frying pan with red wine and transfer to the casserole. Add 2 cups beef stock, 1 spice bag of garni bouquet, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

Step 2: While the beef stew is simmering, work on the mushrooms and pearl onions for garnishing: Braised mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in frying pan under medium-low heat for 8 minutes and set aside. Braised pearl onions in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in frying pan under medium-low heat for 8 minutes until it becomes transparent and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in low heat and add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Mix well and blend to a paste.

Step 3:
After 1 hour, pour the beef stew from the casserole through a colander with a container underneath to collect the sauce. Clean casserole with any residue and put back sauce in.
With a tong, pick the beef pieces only (without any residue) and put back in the casserole, and simmer to reduce amount of sauce. Mash well (use a potato masher)the remaining residue by adding about 3 cups of sauce from the casserole. Pour and strain sauce from mashed residue back to the casserole. Discard residue. Slowly add 3 cups sauce from casserole to the paste made in step 2 and mix well to make a thick sauce. Pour back sauce to the casserole through a sieve to filter any lumps. Fold in browned pearl onions and champignon mushrooms and simmer for 2 more minutes.

*Serve with french bread or rice.
*Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
*Serving: 4 to 6
*Recreated Recipe from Julia Child's (Online)
*Edited by author 01/30/2011


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