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Every year, I try to do something special for my father’s birthday. We usually dine out and one of his favorite dishes is Beef Bourguignon. I was originally thinking it would be a great idea to take him to one of our favorite restaurants but during one of our talks he asked if I had been using my dutch oven that I got two birthdays ago.

Sadly, I havent. And its not that I didn’t love it – cuz I really do! I just don’t think of cooking with it. I decided to take the dutch oven out of the closet and make dad a for real, Beef Bourguignon. IMG_9043

Do you know how many recipes there are on the internet??? Its crazy! I decided, since I have always had much success with her recipes, to go with Simply Recipes.  I didn’t veer off much from her directions and was really happy with the end result. So on a cool and breezy Sunday, I presented my father with a home cooked version of one of his favorite dishes: Beef Bourguignon.

Ingredients:

4 ounces salt pork, diced

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

5 lbs stew beef, cubed and patted dry

2 medium red onions, diced

2 large carrots, cut into 1 inch thick slices

1 lb cremini mushrooms

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

1/2 cup brandy

1 bottle Pinot Noir

2 cups of beef stock

2 Bay Leaves

1 Tablespoon Parsley

2 Teaspoons thyme

4 cloves

2 cups of pearl onions

2 Tablespoons butter + 3 Tablespoons flour

1 lb package egg noodles

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The night before Dad’s birthday, I got home around 9:45 pm and decided to start the stew that evening. From start to finish, it took me 4 hrs to complete this meal. I recommend giving yourself ample time. I sat wide eyed, looking at my television at 12:35 am and kept getting up to walk around and avoid falling asleep. I finally was finished at 2 am.

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To begin, add just enough water to your frying pan to cover the surface. Add the salt pork and crisp up over medium heat. When the salt pork is crispy, transfer it to the dutch oven. This part of the process is to render the pork fat so we can cook our meat. the crisping process took about 8 minutes.

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To the same pan of pork grease, add 1 tablespoon of the four tablespoons of butter. When its all melted, sear the beef cubes on all sides. Make sure to not crowd the pan (crowding will steam the meat) and to give the meat time to get a nice brown crust on the outsides. When the pan dries up a little, add another Tablespoon of butter. This process, depending on how quickly the meat browns, took 1 hr. (and because of that, my apartment was filled with a BEEFY aroma that stuck to my clothing…My trench coat still smells like beef.)

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Transfer every finished piece of beef to the dutch oven. Now, notice the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. To get them up, add the onions and the carrots. As they begin to cook, they will release their juices and help break up the brown bits. After a good 10 minutes over medium heat, the carrots and onions should have reduced in size. Add the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to reduce in size, or about 5 minutes and then add the brandy and the tomato paste.

Let the brandy and tomato paste simmer and thicken for an additional 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently over medium heat. This will also pick up any extra brown bits still stuck to the pan.

When that is finally done, you can transfer the contents of the frying pan into the dutch oven.

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Preheat your oven to 350*.

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To the dutch oven, add an entire bottle of pinot noir. If the beef and vegetables are not covered with wine, add beef stock to just cover the beef. Bring the stew to a slow boil.

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When it starts to boil, toss in the pearl onions. Secure the lid on the dutch oven and place in the oven for 2 hours or until the beef is fall apart tender.

When I made this, it was late in the evening… when I was done making this, it was 2am.

Don’t be an idiot like me.

When the stew is done, separate the beef from the liquid. I stored the beef and veggies in an air tight container and then stored all the liquid in a spill proof container. When it cooled, I placed it in the fridge overnight (AKA 4 hrs).

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The following day, I brought the feast over to mom’s house. I reheated the beef with the vegetables in the microwave while I thickened the reserved sauce on the stove top.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and whisk in 3 Tablespoons of flour; it should resemble a paste. Place the reserved liquid in a pan and heat on low. As it starts to simmer, slowly add in spoonfuls of the buttery paste and slowly whisk in. The sauce should thicken as it simmers. Once the butter and flour has been added in their entirety, allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes on low.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the egg noodles according to the package directions. To serve, a portion of egg noodles in a shallow bowl, a heaping spoonful (or tw0) of beef and veggies and a healthy ladle of the thickened up sauce.

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Serve with a delicious Pinot Noir and enjoy.

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Also. Enjoy Homemade Birthday Cake!

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