Monday, December 8, 2014

Master Indy Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

Pronounced like: “Bore-gone-YAWN
This classic French meal can run over $50 a person at a fancy restaurant, and that's “al a cart”! - which means you pay extra for bread & butter. A pretty price to pay for stew. But OH what a stew! Never be afraid to try things that sound hard. We will take this step by step.

The French chefs are known for having tricks to make food taste better. We have already learned some that we will use in this dish.
Traditionally, beef bourguignon is made with burgundy wine. However my Master Indy truly loves a good Pinot Noir. Also Master favors using a slow cooker to let the flavors blend all day long. So this version was designed for Him. It is an easy way for you to learn to cook a fantastic holiday treat for your table.

3 tbs butter
3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2½ lbs chuck beef cut into 3-inch cubes
salt & pepper
1 lbs carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red Pinot Noir
½ cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lbs fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
1 pkg frozen pearl onions
4 tbs all purpose flour
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

For serving:
Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
Prepare the night before:

Cut up the bacon into 1 inch pieces.
Cut the beef into 3 inch pieces.
Peel the carrots and cut into 1-inch chunks.
Wash the mushrooms, discard the stems and slice the caps thickly.
Drain the can of diced tomatoes.
Mince the garlic.

Fry the bacon in a heavy pan (do NOT use a non stick pan for this) till browned and the fat has rendered. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off all but a tablespoon or two of bacon fat from the pan, reserving the rest of the grease for cooking.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. Cut the beef into 3 inch pieces. Pat them dry and sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper. When the fat is up to temperature, add a single layer of beef pieces. Sear the meat in batches, flipping the pieces after 1 to 3 minutes.

You just want to get a nice brown on the beef. After each batch, transfer the seared beef to a bowl. Keep adding the fat for each batch and if needed, add butter so that each piece gets a nice brown coating.

Once the meat has browned, add ½ cup of the wine to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to de-glaze. This will lift any of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and save them to provide an excellent flavor to the dish. Pour this over the meat in the bowl.

Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:
Wipe out the slow cooker and spray the insides. Set on low heat.

Now add some remaining fat and or butter to the pan and cook the carrots just until they start to soften.

Add the garlic and diced tomatoes. Cook until fragrant. 1 or 2 more minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a second bowl.

Wipe the pan clean and warm one more tablespoon of bacon grease (or butter) over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms with ¼ teaspoon salt until they release their liquid and the liquid has evaporated. The mushrooms should end up a nice golden brown (about 8 to 10 minutes). Transfer the mushrooms to a third clean bowl.

Take the sprigs of fresh thyme and tie them up in twine.

Now pour the bowl of meat and juices into the cooker. Add the mushrooms and carrots.

Place the bundle of thyme on top and pour the rest of the bottle of wine into the cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

With about a half hour to go on the cooking, remove the herb bundle.
In a medium bowl mix the 4 tbs of all purpose flour with ½ cup of beef broth until well incorporated and pour on top. Stir this in along with the reserved bacon pieces and pearl onions, cover raise the heat to HIGH.

Cook for another 20 minutes. When removing the cover and planning to serve, pour in the tbs balsamic vinegar as the final pièce de résistance.

Stick some french bread into a warm oven and serve along side. Now much of the wine will have cooked out, but NOT ALL! The vegetables, especially the potatoes will be steeped in the flavor.

Note: always, when cooking with wine, use a good one that you would drink. Do not skimp on some cheep stuff that you would not serve to guests.

Slave fixed some garlic roasted potatoes to go along with this fantastic meal. What a Holiday treat for my Master Indy. How I love to serve Him!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook for a Christmas present:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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