Beef Bourguignon or Beef Stew
One of my favorite movies is Julie & Julia – have you seen it? It’s the story of fellow blogger Julie Powell who challenges herself to make all of the recipes in Julia Child‘s first book. It’s a great girl movie and it’s a classic. Perfect for movie watching on a lazy Saturday.
What is your favorite movie for a lazy day?
Anyway, I was watching it the other day and was inspired by one of Julia Child’s recipes and decided it was time to write my own recipe for beef
borigunan.… beef bougnan ok….I decided to make beef stew! I figured if I was going to make something, I should at least be able to spell the name, correct? 😉
Yes, beef stew is definitely what I was going to make!
I started off by cooking a couple of slices of bacon. I cut it into small pieces and rendered off the fat slowly in a heavy bottomed pot. When the bacon was crispy, I removed it from the pot, saving the fat.
Next came the beef. First I took the meat and carefully cut off the fat and anything tough, then I cut it into small cubes, about 1″ in size. I seasoned it with a healthy pinch of salt & pepper and browned it on all sides.
After removing the meat from the pot, I added the vegetables and began sautéing them – just until they were lightly brown. By now things are starting to smell pretty good in the kitchen!
Next in went the spices and lots of liquid – beef stock, red wine, some cognac, tucked the lid on tight and in the oven it went, slowly cooking for a couple of hours. Hands off – love that!
Short little note on the wine – I used a good Oregon Pinot Noir – you know what they say…if you won’t drink it…don’t cook with it and that’s really true! It wasn’t an expensive bottle of wine – $12, but it was tasty!
Right about then Dan took a nap. I think he woke up from a nap with a spoon in his hand because he surprised me by walking into the kitchen saying where’s the beef stew? Seriously, the house smelled absolutely amazing at this point! Imagine his disappointment when I told him it wasn’t ready yet! Poor guy!
It slowly braised in the oven. About 2 1/2 hours later, I took it out of the oven to thicken it. This is a really simple process – equal parts of softened butter & flour. Mixed them together really well and added it to the hot, bubbly stew. This is the perfect way to thicken a stew – the butter melts into the soup and disperses the flour perfectly – no lumps this way!
Anyway….this was the end result.
This stew is thick and savory, rich and filling. The broth is so good you will mop every bit of it up with thick slice of bread. Nothing compares to that slow cooked flavor. Grab your spoon!
So amazing, it’s one of those dishes that after you make it, you’ll pat yourself on the back & say yes….I made that!
- 1 onion quartered and sliced
- 10 brussels sprouts cleaned and quartered
- 5 carrots peeled and chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms stems removed and quartered
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 slices bacon cut into very small slices
- 2 lbs beef cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine recommend pinot noir
- 2 tablespoons cognac optional
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
- Begin by preparing the vegetables; onions, brussels sprouts, carrots, mushroom & garlic. Clean, slice and quarter the veggies and set them aside.
- Prepare the beef - I cut off all/most of the fat. Cut the beef into 1 inch cubes. Season well with salt & pepper.
- Using a large oven proof stock pot, begin by browning the bacon. Cut it into small pieces (lardons) and turn the heat on medium. Sauté until the bacon is crispy and you've rendered all of the fat from the bacon. Remove the bacon from the pan & drain on paper towels. Retaining the bacon fat.
- Next brown the beef in the stock pot. You may need to add more oil to the pan (I used olive oil) - brown all sides, you'll probably need to do this in a couple of batches. When all sides are brown, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Then add the vegetables to the pan - saute' them for 5-7 minutes until you just begin to get some color on the vegetables. After 5-7 minutes, add the thyme, red pepper flakes & tomato paste and saute' for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the beef, red wine, cognac & beef stock. Stir well - place the lid on the stock pot & tuck in the oven. Depending on the cut of meat that you use, it will be done in 2-3 hours. Cook it until the meat is tender.
- When the meat is tender, remove it from the oven & place it on the stove over low heat. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter & flour. Using a fork, mash it together until it is completely combined. Add it to the stew while it is hot - the flour/butter mixture will thicken the stew without making the broth lumpy. It's the best way to thicken a stew. Cook it for about 3-4 minutes more and the stew will be done.
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This is knock your socks off good! The perfect soup for a cold winter’s day, good enough for company and perfect for an intimate evening. This beef stew is absolutely delicious – I hope you enjoy it!
A couple more of my favorite slow cooked meals are Easy Ham and Bean Soup such great flavor! Minestrone Soup doesn’t take all day but it’s always delicious – easy too! Just a couple more ideas of delicious goodness for the weekend!