Whenever my father gives me free range in the kitchen, I take full advantage of his lovely kitchen and try to make an elaborate meal. Boeuf Bourguignon seems difficult but it is actually fairly easy and it is sure to impress anyone who tries it. All of the flavors come together perfectly and the juice is just divine! On this night, I was inspired by Ina Garten’s “Dinner in Paris” menu on her website that I got a few years ago. “Dinner in Paris” is not on there anymore but she does have really good menu ideas!
My brother, step-sister and I, all worked together to make this iconic French meal which made the process really easy. It takes about 3-4 hours so plan accordingly! We had such a great time working together and everyone really loved the meal. Part of the joy of cooking is sharing it with family so make it fun, set the table nicely, light some candles, turn on the fire, open some nice bottles of vino, relax and enjoy!
“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 8 ounces of applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 2 & 1/2 Pounds of chuck beef cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 Cup of Cognac (Hennessy or Courvoisier)
- 1 bottle (750 ml.) of red wine, traditionally Burgundy or Pinot Noir
- 2 Cups of beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
- 4 Tablespoons of room temperature butter
- 3 Tablespoons of flour
- 1 pound of mushrooms with stems discarded and thickly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. PREPARE EVERYTHING! Chop, slice, cut, and pour each ingredient into its own bowl. This is called mise en place or “everything in its place”. I cannot stress how important this step is for a smooth and flawless preparation of this delicate French meal.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot. All Clad is perfect for this! Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until bacon is lightly browned. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate. Do not put a paper towel down (which is what I usually do with bacon) because we want the fat!
4. Dry the meat with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown all four sides of the meat in the pot, about 3 minutes each side. Only do one layer at a time and when finished, transfer to the plate with the bacon and set aside.
5. Toss the carrots, onions, 2 Tablespoons of pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of salt in the fat of the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
6. Add the Cognac and stand back while you very carefully light the pot on fire to burn off the alcohol. We had my Father do this with a long barbecue lighter rather than a match so that we could stay clear of it. Let the fire burn out on its own and do not stir.
7. Put the meats back into the juices and add the bottle of wine and beef stock. Add the tomato paste and thyme then bring all to a simmer.
8. Cover the pot and put in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. While this is cooking, combine the butter and flour to make a rue and sauté the mushrooms in 2 Tablespoons of butter on a pan. When the stew is ready, stir in the rue and mushrooms and bring it back to a boil on the stove top for 15 minutes. Season to taste and serve!