Every year I get together with a group of friends to watch the Academy Awards. I don’t think I have missed a year since I was a child. My family loves movies and the awards shows are always entertaining. My friend Carol and I have thrown several large parties over the years but this year we were in the mood for a smaller, lower key event.
Still, the Oscars call for something special, so I decided to try Beef Bourguignon from Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen cookbook. Even though the recipe looks daunting once you get it going it cooks on the stove for almost 2 hours. I wanted something I didn’t have to babysit once the show was underway.
My pictures were taken quickly during commercial breaks so I apologize in advance. I served this with mashed potatoes and a Lemon Parmesan Arugula salad. I’ll share that recipe with you later this week.
Adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe
Serves 6 to 8
4 bacon slices
3 1/2 to 4 pounds beef chuck or round, cut in 2 x 2 in cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup Cognac
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Bouquet garni ( 1 fresh rosemary sprig, 8 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, tied together with a strip of leek)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 pound white mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
1 cup of carrots sliced
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat; drizzle with canola oil. Fry the bacon until crisp and then remove it to a paper towel; you’ll crumble it at the end and use for garnish. Add the beef to the pot in batches. Fry the cubes in the bacon fat until evenly browned on all sides, turn with tongs. Season with salt and pepper.
After the meat in browned, put it all back in the pot. Sprinkle the flour over the meat; then stir to make sure the beef is well coated and there are no flour lumps. Pour in the Cognac and stir to scrape up the flavorful bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir to scrape up the flavorful bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. Pour in the red wine and beef broth; then add the tomato paste and bouquet garni. Stir everything together and bring the pot up to a simmer. Cook until the liquid start to thicken and has the consistency of a sauce; this should take about 15 minutes. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
Uncover the pot an add the garlic, pearl onions, carrots and mushrooms, along with the pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes longer, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Remove the bouquet garni and then stir in the butter to finish up the sauce. Shower with chopped parsley and the reserved crumbed bacon before serving.
Serve over mashed potatoes.