Ingredients of Beef Bourguignon :
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces (170g) bacon, roughly chopped
- 3 pounds (1 1/2 kg) beef brisket, trimmed of fat (chuck steak or stewing beef) cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large carrot sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
- 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 12 small pearl onions (optional)
- 3 cups red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or a Chianti — for a milder sauce, use only 2 cups of wine
- 2-3 cups beef stock (if using 2 cups of wine, use 3 cups beef stock)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 beef bullion cube, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
The traditional way to use an oven is to heat it to 350°F (175°C).
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other pot with a heavy bottom. Over medium heat, cook the bacon for about 3 minutes, until it is brown and crispy. Move to a large dish with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Use a paper towel to dry the beef, then sear it in small batches in the hot oil or bacon fat until all sides are browned. Put the bacon back in the dish.
In the remaining oil or bacon fat, sauté the diced carrots and onions until they are soft, about 3 minutes. Then, add the 4 minced cloves of garlic and cook for another minute. Leave about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan and drain the rest of the fat. Put the bacon and beef back in the pot and add 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, mix well, and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
Add the pearl onions, wine, and just enough stock to barely cover the meat. Then add the herbs, tomato paste, and bullion. On the stove, bring to a slow boil.
Cover, move to the bottom of the oven, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to fall apart (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).
Prepare your mushrooms in the last 5 minutes of cooking:
In a skillet or pan of about medium size, melt the butter over heat. When the foam goes away, add the last two cloves of garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until the garlic smells good. Then, add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every so often to spread the butter around. If you want, you can add salt and pepper. Set them aside once they are browned.
Put a colander on top of a big pot (I do this in my clean kitchen sink). Take the casserole out of the oven and carefully pour its contents into the colander (you want to collect the sauce only). Throw away the herbs
Put the beef mixture back in the pot or dutch oven. The mushrooms go on top of the meat.
Remove any fat from the sauce, if there is any, and let it simmer for a minute or two while skimming off any more fat that rises to the top.
You should have about 2 and a half cups of sauce that is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon.
Add a few tablespoons of stock if the sauce is too thick. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until it is the right thickness.
Taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper, and if so, do so. The sauce goes on top of the meat and vegetables.
If you want to serve the beef bourguignon right away, simmer it for 2 to 3 minutes to warm it up.
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles and a sprinkle of parsley.
To serve the casserole the next day, let it cool all the way, cover it, and put it in the fridge.
Before reheating, take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to serve it. Set over medium-low heat and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.