So Old Man Winter is finally back in town, despite the crazy warm weather we’ve been having lately in New York City. Temperatures drop and there’s nothing better than a big pot of comfort food and a bottle of red to make a girl happy, right? Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make everything OK…(*sigh). So I did just that this weekend, and made a huge batch of some classic Beef Bourguignon..you know, the classic French braised beef stew with veggies and red wine that Julia Child made famous.
I made it in a large 6-quart ceramic Dutch oven (KitchenAid brand is my fav!), and it’s chock full of savory deliciousness – sautéed pancetta, braised beef, shallots, garlic and carrots sautéed into a roux with some flour, flambeed brandy (my secret ingredient!), a whole bottle of red (yes, really!) and some beef stock, along with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth) slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours.
The finishing touch of mushrooms and caramelized Cippolini onions sautéed in butter are added in at the end to add tons of buttery, savory flavor to the stew. YUM.
I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so delicious in my life – and I’m quite sure if Julia was still alive, I would make her damn proud, if I do say so myself.
It’s a flavor bomb in a bowl, my friends, and perfect for a lovely holiday dinner party for a crowd. Serve in big bowls garnished with fresh Italian parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, of course accompanied with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir or Burgundy) and some crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. All around a big table of friends and family to partake in all the goodness.
This is a delicious heartwarming French Beef Stew made with beef chuck, red wine, brandy, fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, cippolini onions, carrots and pancetta. Perfect one-pot dish for Winter or the holidays!
- 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium-large cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 5 large shallots, finely diced
- 3 large carrots, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
- 4 cups beef or veal stock
- 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs Italian parsley)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
- 5-7 small to medium Cippolini onions, quartered
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (White button or Cremini)
- Flat leaf Italian Parsley, minced, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place beef in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for several minutes to get it hot.
- Add pancetta and cook until crispy and browned, drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Increase the heat to high and add the beef in to the pot in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning with tongs (be careful not to crowd or overfill the pot as you will need to cook beef in batches to get a nice browning).
- Place the browned beef back on to the baking sheet and set aside.
- Add the oil and diced shallots and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the brandy and flambe (light it in the pan with a long lighter or match) and let the flames keep going for as long as possible, until they go out to burn off alcohol.
- Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir together with the vegetables for a few minutes to make a roux base for the stew.
- Next deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate and remove any lumps, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (these babies are full of flavor!)
- Add 3 3/4 cups of the stock, browned meat and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove pot from the heat, cover and cook the stew in the oven for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender. (The meat should shred/fall apart easily when you pierce it with a fork - if not, place it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes).
- While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions in a medium saute pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper, until the onions are lightly browned.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup stock and cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and glazed and liquid is evaporated.
- Transfer onions to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan, turn the heat up to high. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, sear over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and mix into the caramelized onions, set aside.
- Remove the stew from the oven and gently stir in cooked pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper to taste).
- Serve the stew in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, with a glass of red and crusty bread to mop up the sauce of course!
Recipe adapted from Mother's Best Comfort Food Cookbook.
Other Beef Bourguignon recipes you may enjoy: