As soon as the weather became cool enough to require a jacket, my father has been talking about one thing: Boeuf Bourguignon. And not just taking a trip to our favorite french spot for a hearty little pot of the stuff (i checked, its not on the menu yet), but asking me if i could try it on my own so he can have hearty beefy buttery stew whenever he asks…
If it was my mom, I’d give her a hard time- just because its mom (but I would make it for her anyway)…but because dad said I should make it, i thought “hmm, why the eff not?”
Sadly, I made a honkin pot of this stew and he never got to taste it. When I told him what I made last week, he was about to bribe me with a shiny blue le cruset (to match my new kitchen aid) but i need stuff to open on Christmas day! right? But lucky for dad, I made a few tweaks and know for next time how to wow the socks off of everyone!
When it comes to recipes, there are so many to choose from. I decided that Ina had a great looking recipe so i used her recipe as inspiration.
Unfortunately, I was baking at the same time as I was preparing this dish and I just went with what felt right, and you know what? it was pretty damn tasty!
Inspired by Ina’s Beef Bourguignon (but totally BSed at some point by Yours Truly)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced (I left the mushrooms whole)
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced ( i used pearl onions)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided (i used a stick of butter..Paula Dean would be proud)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone (i used Burgundy wine)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 cup Cognac (i drank it instead)
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (i left this out)
1 pound frozen whole onions (I left this out because I used the pearl onions)
See, what had happened was:
I started with some thick cut smoky bacon that i rough chopped and crisped up in my crappiest pot. I had every intention of throwing this in the oven… but I didnt… and im not upset about it. After the bacon got all crispy, i removed them from the pot and was left with a substantial amount of bacon fat. So I added a tablespoon of butter….to the bacon fat.
and threw the mushrooms in the buttery bacon fat. they cooked down quite a bit and so did the bacon butter…so i added another tablespoon of butter. I want to say that adding butter a tablespoon at a time really alters your perception.
One doesnt realize that a whole stick of butter has gone missing until they throw in that last tablespoon and say “Holy Shit! Who stole the butter?”
And the answer to that is always Paula Dean.
I then decided to add some of my picturesque carrots from the farmers market…
a few leftover fingerling potatoes and pearl onions. I covered and let the veggies make love in the buttery bacon fat for about 20 minutes. Until they were *almost* done. I removed the veggies and set aside.
I came to the realization that the pot i was using was ridiculously too small to get the job done so removing the veggies to sear the beef was the next order of business. But before that I added the red wine to deglaze the pan and remove all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan. I added two more tablespoons of butter (surprise, surprise) and then added the beef.
i was SUPPOSED to dredge the beef in the flour. But when i added the beef I said “”Shit, the flour!” so i whisked it in… I left the beef cook for several minutes, then i seasoned with salt and pepper. When the beef was cooked I threw everything back into the pot… which was now filled to the brim.
I poured in the beef broth, covered and let simmer for 30 minutes.
I really should have followed Ina’s directions… but I kind of just went with it and i was pleased with the results. I def think this was delicious on account of all the freakin butter that ended up in this pot… but it was my first time. Next Time, i will do it Ina’s way….or just go to Tournesol for my own pot of bouef bourguignon and not have to do the dishes!
I prepared a bed of egg noodles for my stew…
Im lucky this worked out in my favor, but have you ever tried to Bullshit a recipe and it totally flopped???