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Sunday Dinner: Beef Bourguignon

If Beef Bourguignon makes you think of a fancy-pants French meal that you'll never attempt at home, then think again. While the name does sound impressive, this traditional French dish is essentially a beef stew made with red wine. Flavored with onions, carrots, bacon, and a mixture of herbs, this dish is the perfect way to get ready for the holiday season. Impress your family and friends tonight, get the recipe, just

Beef Bourguignon
Martha Stewart, October 2005

6 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1/4-by-1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds stewing beef, such as lean rump pot roast, cut into 2-inch cubes, patted dry
1 carrot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium onion, sliced crosswise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups red wine, such as Chianti, Beaujolais, or Cotes du Rhone
3 cups homemade beef stock or canned low-sodium beef stock, plus 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic, crushed
1/2 dried thyme, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 dried bay leaf, crumbled, plus 1/2 bay leaf
4 fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon
24 cipollini or pearl onions, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, and peeled
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.with oven racks set in the middle and lower-third. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 quarts water to a simmer; add bacon and rind, simmering for 10 minutes. Drain; dry bacon and pot. Reserve rind.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch-oven over medium heat. Add bacon; cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon; set aside.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; oil should be just below smoking point. Test by placing one piece of beef in pan; it should sizzle immediately. Add beef in small batches and cook until well-browned on all sides. Remove meat, and set aside with bacon.
  4. Add carrots and sliced onions; cook until browned. Drain excess; discard.
  5. Return beef and bacon to pot; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle in flour, tossing to coat. Transfer pot, uncovered, to middle of oven; bake for 4 minutes. Toss meat and vegetables; bake for 4 minutes more. Transfer pot to stove. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  6. Over medium-low heat, stir in wine and enough stock to barely cover meat. Add tomato paste, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1 crumbled bay leaf, and bacon rind; bring to a simmer. Cover pot, and transfer to lower-third of oven. Bake, regulating heat so stew simmers, until meat is fork tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  7. Meanwhile, make an herb sachet. In an 8-by-8-inch piece of cheesecloth, combine 4 sprigs parsley, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, and tie using kitchen twine. Set aside.
  8. In a medium skillet, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When butter is bubbling, add whole onions; sauté until browned, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add 1/2 cup stock to pan; season with salt and pepper, and add herb sachet. Simmer, covered, until onions are tender and liquid has evaporated, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove herb sachet, and discard. Set aside.
  10. Wipe out skillet; place over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil; butter will begin to foam. As foaming subsides, add mushrooms; sauté, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove from heat; set aside.
  11. Pour stew into a sieve set over a large saucepan. Rinse out Dutch-oven. Return beef and bacon to pot; add cooked mushrooms and onions.
  12. Skim fat from sauce. Over medium-low heat, bring sauce to a simmer, skimming off additional fat, 1 to 2 minutes. Sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. If too thin, bring to a boil and reduce to correct consistency. If too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.
  13. Bring pot to a simmer, covered, over medium heat, basting meat and vegetables with sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with parsley; serve immediately.
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