It is the coldest it's ever been in Dallas (in my tenure anyway). So I settled into my -2 degree wind chill day with no intentions of exiting the house and it was like my little snow day. Good movies, a blazing fire and a steaming bowl of Beef Bourguignon.
My mom made a beautiful beef stew when I was a kid… and then I would destroy it by mashing the potatoes and shredding the beef until it looked like a bad brown bowl of mush… but it tasted glorious. As I got older I always added a few dashes of Tabasco to my bowl but I was out! The half bottle of Sriracha in the fridge was actually a better substitute and will be the new trend in my bowl of stew.
This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa and serves 10 easily. Chuck the leftovers in the freezer or make some neighbors happy.
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 8 ounces bacon, diced
- 3 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound small white potatoes, quartered
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
- 1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
- 3/4 bottle red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (1 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
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 to the 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 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. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the potatoes. Add the wine plus enough beef broth to 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.
Serve with crusty bread.