As love month winds down, I thought an easy one pot meal with a little special touch should be in order. Simple but special – the perfect combination. And, my ideal go to gal for that find is, of course, the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Her recipes are always spot on and rarely need tweaking. Nice, when you are wanting something special but hassle free.
This week I found her beautiful Beef Bourguignon recipe and happily decided it would fit the bill and then some for my winter one pot go to adding an air of elegance for the February vibe of romance. And, as usual, it delivered!
Ina has taken the classic french rendition, which can be quite time consuming and tricky, and made it accessible for us mere mortals. And, I have to say, without sacrificing flavor whatsoever!
I’m thrilled to share this wonderful Beef Bourguignon recipe that has been slightly adapted with you or you can find it here:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac (or Brandy which is more affordable!)
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes and place on plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat leftover in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute (you don’t want to burn that garlic so just 1 min!). Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol (This can be fun but just make sure the kids stand back!). Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.
To keep thisbeef bourguignon a true one pot meal, I sauted the mushrooms in the same dutch oven before beginning the full prep of the stew. Just set them aside and they were ready to add at the end. I also used brandy instead of cognac, as it is much more affordable, and works just perfectly. Careful when you flame this, that brandy creates quite a blaze! But, of course, that’s part of the fun and feel of an extra special dish. The toast is the perfect vehicle to serve this wonderful sauce and makes such a pretty presentation, as well! This beef bourguignon is an affordable and relatively easy dish for those special winter evenings in February where we just want to be cozy and well cared for. Plus you can do most of this ahead of time so it makes it perfect for having friends over for a movie or board game night! Personally I’m a huge Bachelor night fan so this makes Monday Bachelor night so much more fun! Bon Appetit!!