Beef Bourguignon: Just call me Julia…

This burgundy beef stew is a french classic. Simple and hearty, it warms you from the inside out! {Brittany's Pantry}I’m back!  After a quick and brief hiatus which included but was not limited to doctors appointments, way too many trips to the pharmacy to get prescriptions after said appointments, an unexpected trip to mourn the passing of a friend, and really just general exhaustion, I am back on track and in the kitchen.  So just LOOK OUT! 🙂

In reference to the title of this post I am of course talking about Julia Child.  Well, I am not exactly like her but her famous stew, Boeuf Bourguignon bubbling away on my stove makes me feel like her.  The smell of this dish will most definitely make your house smell like the French countryside.  Or so I am told, having never been there.  The point is that this is one of those dishes that makes you feel a bit like you are on vacation.  It is a little different from what you might normally make but at its roots, it is just a plain french stew.  Nothing complicated, fussy, or difficult.  It does take a little bit of time, but don’t all things worthwhile? Save it for the weekend or an extra day off of work.  Leftovers are outstanding.  You will be counting the minutes to your lunch break and making all your co-workers jealous when the smell of this stew fills the break room!  And of course, it is perfect for January weather, no?

This recipe is adapted from about a bazillion different places, all of them similar to each other.  So whether you call it boeuf bourguignon, beef bourguignon, beef burgundy stew, french beef stew, or beef stew with red wine, it is all the same.  And it is aaaallllll gooooooood.This burgundy beef stew is a french classic. Simple and hearty, it warms you from the inside out! {Brittany's Pantry}One Year Ago: Laura’s Salad and Buttermilk Bread

Beef Bourguignon
Serve this stew with plenty of crusty bread.  We like it with sourdough.

1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 lbs beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 onions, diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 dried bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 lb fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 T flour
2 T room temperature butter

In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot, brown the bacon until crisp.  Scoop it out and set it aside on a plate.  Brown the beef in the bacon fat over medium heat, in batches if necessary, without crowding the pan.  Let the meat get some great color on it and then remove it to the plate with the bacon.  We don’t want to cook it through, just brown it.  Next add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pot, just letting them sweat over medium heat.  Don’t let them brown.  Add a drizzle of olive oil if necessary and season with salt and pepper.  Let the veggies go for about 10 minutes and then add the whole bottle of red wine, the beef broth, tomato paste, dried thyme, and bay leaf.  Stir to combine and cover with a lid.  You can simmer the stew on the stove over low heat, just barely letting it bubble for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or you can put the whole thing in the oven at 250 for an hour and half.  Your choice!  Just give it a stir every half hour or so and when the meat cuts in half with a fork, it is done.  Place the pot back over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms.  Mix the flour and butter together to make a paste and stir that into the stew to slightly thicken it.  Let the whole she-bang bubble away for another 5 minutes until the flour is cooked and the mushrooms are done.  Taste to see if it needs salt and pepper and serve.