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Our Best Easy Boeuf Bourguignon

Get yourself a good loaf of bread or a side of gorgeous potatoes and prepare to dig into the most heavenly hearty stew you've ever dug into. Cheat where you can with pre-sliced and diced! This stew is perfect for nesting, as it freezes well, too!
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 Kg / 2 lbs boneless beef chuck [or whatever stewing beef you can find really, pre-cubed is great]
  • 250 g Smoked Bacon [low-salt is perfectly acceptable]
  • 1 small onion [or the equivalent in pre-diced onions]
  • 9 shallots [250 g or additional small onions, or the equivalent in pre-diced onions]
  • 1/4 cup flour [or gluten-free thickening agent of your choosing]
  • 2 1/4 cups good red Burgundy wine [we last used Millebuis, Bourgogne, Côte Chalonnaise, Pinot Noir, 2012]
  • 1 3/4 cups beef stock [low or no salt is fine]
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several lengths of the fresh herbs of your choice bound with twine into a bouquet garni [we used lemon thyme thyme, pineapple sage, and marjoram]
  • 227 to 250 g mushrooms [we used pre-sliced cremini]
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Trim and cube the beef into 2 inch pieces. [We used pre-cut stewing beef.]
  • Slice or scissor the bacon strips into 1- or 2-inch pieces.
  • Skin and slice the onions and shallots. [Or used pre-diced onions for a cheat.]
  • Place clean, reusable cloth towels or disposable paper towels on a large baking sheet.
  • Place a mesh strainer over a clean bowl.
  • In a large dutch oven or oven-ready casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • In batches, add the beef and brown on all sides.
  • Remove the beef to the lined pan.
  • In the hot dutch oven, add the bacon and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the bacon has begun to crisp. [I like soft bacon, so I tend to undercook slightly.]
  • Remove the bacon to the lined pan. [It's okay to spread these in and around the beef chunks. They will go in the same dish, soon enough.]
  • In the same hot dutch oven, add the onions and shallots and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  • Remove the onions and shallots to the strainer over the bowl. [These will NOT go back into the casserole just yet!]
  • To the hot and once-again-empty dutch oven, add about 1 cup of the stock and 1/4 cup of the wine.
  • With a flat whisk or wooden spoon, stir the the liquid about in the browned bits in the bottom of the vessel for about 60 seconds or until it begins to boil.
  • Place the flour in a small bowl.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the boiling liquid to the small bowl and, with a fork or small whisk, whisk the flour vigorously until it combines completely with the hot liquid.
  • Add another 1/4 cup of the boiling liquid to the flour/stock mixture and whisk vigorously to incorporate.
  • Add the flour/stock mixture back to the vessel of boiling liquid.
  • Add the remaining stock and wine to the pan and whisk vigorously to incorporate.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for a minute or two until it thickens slightly.
  • Add the beef and bacon back into this pot. [Leave the onions aside for the first 60-90 minutes of cooking!]
  • Skin and crush the cloves of garlic with the back of a spoon.
  • Add the crushed garlic, the bay leaves, and the bouquet garni to the dutch oven.
  • Season conservatively with salt and pepper.
  • Stir gently, cover, and place the dutch oven into the hot oven.
  • Cook for 60-90 minutes [the longer, the better - but, not everyone has the time!]
  • Remove the dutch oven from the hot oven for a moment.
  • Add the shallots, onions, and mushrooms, stir, and cover.
  • Return to the oven and cook for about 60 minutes [or more, if your cut of beef isn't as tender as you'd like].
  • Remove the vessel from the oven and remove the cover.
  • Remove the bouquet garni and the bay leaves and compost them.
  • Taste the liquid and add additional salt and pepper if required. [We tend to leave the extra seasoning up to our guests.]
  • Spoon the boeuf bourg. into bowls.
  • Enjoy with a large loaf of french bread or some fantastic roasted potatoes [or both!]