Guys, this shit is crack. Dip your bread all day long, crack.
It’s Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, Dinner party worthy. Or stay in your PJs on a cold day and eat it all yourself worthy.
Be prepared, this isn’t a quick meal. I always make it the day before and finish it the next day. Or I start it in the morning and finish it right before dinner. It gives time for those flavors to develop.
This recipe has been through years of tweaks and it’s now My best Beef Bourguignon.
There are a few secret weapons to share and they can all be kept in the pantry.
- Cognac. Get the small bottle, it’s cheap.
- French Demi-glace, 1.5 Ounce
- Kitchen Basics beef broth. Available at Kroger and Central Market.
- Mutti Italian Double Concentrate tomato paste.
- Fresh pearl onions, so special. 2nd choice – Cipollini onions. 3rd – frozen.
My best Beef Bourguignon – Serves 6-8
2.5 – 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large yellow onions, quartered (will be removed after braising)
2 large carrots, unpeeled and cut into large pieces (will be removed after braising)
2 cloves garlic smashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup cognac
1 bottle pinot noir
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Classic French Demi glace -1.5 ounces, 1/2 container
6 cups beef broth (2 boxes total needed)
1 pound fresh boiler/pearl onions (or frozen)
1 pound mushrooms brown crimini
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup arrowroot flour (or corn starch – but use 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup beef broth
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. 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 both sides. Remove the seared cubes to a plate until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Turn the heat down and carefully add the Cognac. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have absorbed a good amount of the cognac.
Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Put the meat back into the pot with the juices from the plate.
Add the bottle of wine plus 6 cups of beef broth to cover the meat. Stir 1/2 container of demi-glace.
Add thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
In the meantime, prep the fresh pearl onions. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the onions for 2 minutes. Drain onions in a colander and use a small paring knife to remove the skins. The slight blanch makes this easier! Set aside. (If making ahead, store in a plastic bag in the fridge). If using frozen, skip all together and add onions as stated below.
Remove the stew from the oven when meat is tender. (This is where I let it come to room temp & place in the refrigerator overnight, as it’s always better the next day. If you are making and serving same day, pick up below.)
With a slotted spoon, remove large onion pieces, carrots, thyme and bay leaves. They were simply being used to develop the broth. Now they are cooked to death. Get rid of them, we are adding new ones next.
Place dutch oven on burner on medium heat and let come to a simmer slowly.
Saute the mushrooms and carrots in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew.
Add the pearl onions.
Combine 4 tablespoons of arrowroot flour and 1/4 cup beef broth or water and combine until a paste forms. Stir into the stew to thicken. 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 tons of bread.