Have you ever noticed when the slightest hint of autumn appears, our brains begin sending messages saying you need a steamy cup of tea? Or maybe a bubbling, golden-crusted chicken pot pie? Things you haven’t thought of in months. I blame this primal instinct on our Neanderthal ancestors. Leftover from the times when their day began by banging rocks together to make a fire, dashing down to the creek to fill up their intestine bag full of water, and lord only knows how you begin to prepare a brontosaurus to cook. We needed those signals to keep trudging through winter.
I, for one, raise my goblet of hazelnut, ethically sourced cappuccino topped with steamed coconut milk to the Neanderthals for keeping our species alive. Without their perseverance, we wouldn’t be able to thank the great country of France for this recipe. Beef Bourguignon (bor-gee-non): this dish consists of tender chunks of beef in rich red wine gravy. I like to serve it over mashed potatoes and a thick slice of butter bread to lap up the remaining sauce.
2 tbsp oil
3 ½ lbs beef (chuck, brisket, round)
3 carrots (chopped in 1/2” chunks)
2 lrg. Onions (diced)
3 garlic (toes minced)
Pinch of salt & pepper
20 pearl onions (which nowadays seem impossible to find so can be left out)
2- 2 cups red wine (Merlot, Chianti or Pinot Noir)
2-3 cups beef broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lb. fresh mushrooms
¼ cup butter
Step 1. Pat your beef dry, lightly dredge in seasoned flour and begin to fry in batches in your oil. Be sure to use a heavy bottom ovenproof pot and do not overcrowd. You will steam your meat rather than brown it. Transfer to a large dish and set aside.
Step 2. Saute onions and carrots until softened (approx. 3 mins), then add ½ of your garlic. Cook for another minute.
Step 3. Return meat to pot, add pearl onions, tomato paste, herbs, wine and enough broth to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and place in an oven set at 300 for 3-4 hours. Checking periodically to ensure there is enough broth.
Step 4. Just before serving, heat butter in skillet; once foam subsides, add remaining garlic and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown.
Step 5. Traditionally, only the sauce is wanted, but I don’t mind the vegetables. Instead, just remove bay leaves and thyme sprig. But you can strain if so desired.
Step 6. Add your mushroom and check seasoning.
Step 7. Pour yourself a glass of the remaining wine and pat yourself on the back for such a fine meal