Rich, robust and rustic, this beef Bourguignon recipe needs little time to prepare though it does need to be left to develop in the oven for a few hours to give it that deep and delicious depth of taste and fill the air with utterly mouth-watering aromas.
JACQUES’S BEEF BOURGUIGNON
ACTIVE TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: About 3½ hours
4–5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lb. (1.5 kg) stewing beef, cut into 2-in. (5-cm) cubes
10½ oz. (300 g) smoked bacon, cut into lardons
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bottle red wine (Chianti or Bordeaux)
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups (500 ml) beef stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ tbsp unsalted butter, divided
14 oz. (400 g) pearl onions, peeled (and halved, if large)
14 oz. (400 g) assorted mushrooms (button, girolle, chanterelle, etc.)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly crosswise
2 tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat half the oil in a large Dutch oven (lidded cooking pot) and sear the beef cubes in batches over high heat, removing them as they brown and adding more oil as necessary. When all the meat has browned, place it all back in the pot. Add the bacon and onion, and cook for 3–4 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, wine, tomato paste, beef stock, bay leaves, and thyme and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot to incorporate any meat juices sticking to it. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C/Gas Mark 2). Place the covered pot in the oven and cook for 2½ hours.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet, add the pearl onions, and sauté over medium heat until browned. In a separate skillet, melt the remaining butter, add the mushrooms, and sauté over medium heat until browned. Set aside.
Remove the pot from the oven and add the sliced carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms. Let simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, until the beef and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
If you wish to thicken the sauce, place the flour in a bowl and whisk in about 1 tablespoon cold water using a fork until smooth. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of the sauce from the pot, then pour this mixture into the pot and stir until the sauce slowly thickens.
KITCHEN NOTES: I like to serve this beef Bourguignon with boiled potatoes.
Extracted from My Art of Entertaining: Recipes and Tips from Miss Maggie’s Kitchen by Héloïse Brion (Flammarion, 2022).
Photography © Christophe Roué 2022.