Beef Bourguignon (aka Beef Burgundy)

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(Click on pic to enlarge)

The thing about this dish is most people associate it with Julia Child.  And while Julia made a great beef burgundy, I have made hers many times and mine and they all come out pretty much the same.  The similarities are not necessarily in the ingredients but in the preparation.  When cooking this dish it is best to prepare all the food in advance and then build this dish in stages.

The quantities in this recipe are intended to feed two people:

Meat:
3 – 6″ strips bacon, soaked in hot water 10 minutes, sliced into lardons (or lardoons) of bacon
1 lb. lean stew beef cut into 1inch squares

Mirepoix:
3 medium carrots, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 stick celery, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ yellow onion, chopped

Bouquet garni:
(1/2 bay leaf, 1 tsp. thyme, 2 TBSP fresh parsley chopped)

1 Roma tomato (plum tomato), chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
1 small plastic bag
1 cup of veal stock (or use ½ cup beef stock and ½ cup water)
3 cups of burgundy wine (I use Almaden Vineyards)
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup baby Portabella mushrooms, cubed
10 pearl onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Cooked Egg Noodles for two

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Lardon: Cut bacon in half and simmer 10 minutes in hot water. This reduces the smoke flavor. Then remove bacon, dry with paper towels and cut into quarter inch strips.

Mirepoix: Peel carrots and cut into ½” inch thick wheels. Peel celery and cut into ½” inch pieces, chop onions, whatever how you do it. Chop ½ onion and place all in a bowl.

Bouquet garni: In a bowl add ½ bay leaf, ½ tsp. thyme and 1 TBSP parsley.

Beef: Cut into 1 inch cubes and dry with paper towels. Wet beef won’t brown.

Plastic bag: Add flour inside the bag with salt and pepper.

Burgundy Wine: Pour a glass for the chef, 2 for the pot.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cooking:

Heat cast iron pot and fry lardons (bacon) for about 8 minutes to get most of the lard out but not crispy. Pull lardons out with a slotted spoon and set aside.

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Add a little olive oil to the bacon lard. Raise pan heat to medium high. Brown beef in pan (I use setting 8 electric stove) and brown beef on two sides. This is the most important part of this dish. Remove from pan and set aside to cool some. Repeat process until all of the remaining beef pieces are browned.

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Place the mirepoix into the frying pan and sauté in the remaining juices and oil in the pan left by the beef and bacon, adjust oil and return the bacon and add the pearl onions and chopped tomatoes and garlic and sauté another 6 minutes.

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Then move mirepoix to one side and fry the tomato paste about 5 minutes.

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Place beef into a plastic bag with flour, coat vigorously by shaking. Place beef into the pan and place in the 350 oven for 10 minutes and then remove.

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Add the veal stock and another cup of wine and the herbs and mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with a lid and cook in the oven 1 1/2 hours.

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While all that is happening tell the dogs if they say their daddy is handsome, they will get some beef.

Serve dish over egg noodles.

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