Inspired by Julia Child, this fantastic beef bourguignon is best shared with friends.
To prepare your mise en place, mince the garlic and then cut the onions into medium dice.
Peel the carrots. Quarter lengthwise and cut into 2" -inch pieces. Alternatively, you can dice the carrots into large dice.
Remove the rind from the bacon. Cut the bacon into lardons and set both aside.
To blanch the bacon, bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the bacon rind and the lardons. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes to remove the excess salt and to render some of the fat.
Drain once done. Remove the rind and set aside for later. Pat the lardons dry with paper towels.
To fry the lardons, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and lardons. Fry for a few minutes until just starting to turn golden brown.
Once done, turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lardons. Drain on paper towels.
Preheat the oven to anywhere between 200° F to 350° F (or 95° C to 175° C). The temperature in which you cook the stew is up to you and how quickly you need to cook the stew. Just keep in mind, that the lower the heat and the slower the cooking process, the better the result.
To prepare the beef, it is important that the beef is very dry before cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels. You can even squeeze each piece of meat with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
Heat the Dutch oven again to medium-high heat (do not remove the rendered bacon fat from inside the pot). While the pan heats, lay the beef out and season all sides liberally with salt and pepper.
Once the Dutch oven has properly heated, sear or brown the beef on all sides. You will likely have to do this in batches, as you do not want to overcrowd the pan; otherwise, the meat will steam, rather than brown. It is also important that the sucs on the bottom of the pot don’t burn; so, add more oil as needed.
Once browned, remove the meat, place onto a plate and set aside. Leave any rendered fat in the pot.
Add the onions to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and let brown. Once golden, add the garlic and carrots and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute or so.
Next, sprinkle (singer) the flour over top the onions and carrots and stir to combine.
Next, add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Let cook for about one minute. Deglaze with about 1/2 cup of red wine, scraping the bottom to remove any sucs.
At this point, add the seared beef back to the pan, along with the lardons and the reserved bacon rind.
Add the red wine and stock to the pot. The ingredients should just be covered with the liquid. If you need to add more liquid, add equal amounts of wine and stock.
Next, add the bouquet garni, making sure to push it underneath the surface of the liquid. Bring to a simmer.
Once the stew has come to a simmer, cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven.
Cook the stew until the meat is fork tender. This should take anywhere between 2 to 5 hours. This all depends on how high the temperature of the oven is.
After about 1 1/2 hours, it’s a good idea to check the stew for doneness. The dish should be cooked until the meat is completely fork-tender.
Once done, remove the stew from the oven. At this point, you can proceed to serve the stew now; however, we recommend that the stew be cooled and chilled overnight for the best flavor development.
If chilling overnight, for food safety reasons, it’s best to cool the stew quickly. To do this, place the pot over an ice bath and gently stir from time to time to bring the temperature down. Once cool, cover and transfer to the refrigerator overnight. To prepare the dish for serving, first remove any hardened excess fat from the surface of the stew.
Next, place the stew into a preheated oven (see note from Step 2) between 200° F to 350° F (or 95° C to 175° C). While the stew is reheating, you can prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Follow the recipe for Braised Onions. These will take approximately one hour to prepare.
Follow the recipe for Sautéed Mushrooms. These will take approximately 15 minutes to prepare.
To finish the stew, taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if needed.
Gently fold in the braised onions and sauteed mushrooms. Allow the stew to cool slightly before serving to obtain the maximum flavor. Foods that are extremely hot won’t have the same flavor and mouth feel.