Beef Bourguignon

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1⁄2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 cup cognac
  • 2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the beef with the flour and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large cast-iron cocotte, render the fat from the bacon over medium-low heat until the edges of the bacon are crispy. Remove the bacon to a large bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the beef to the fat in the pan and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan to the bowl with the bacon. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, or until aromatic. Remove vegetables from the pan to the bowl with the beef.
4. Deglaze the pan with the cognac and cook until reduced by half, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Add the wine, stock, tomato paste, thyme, brown sugar, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Return the bacon, beef, and vegetables to the pot, cover, and place in the oven.
5. Cook for 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours, until the beef is fork-tender. Remove from the oven, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with parsley.
6. Makes 6-8 servings 

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