Ron and I often reflect on how much use we’ve gotten out of our Dutch oven. We use it for gumbo, braised chicken, and even Korean tacos, but the recipe we make most often in the cast iron beauty is beef bourguignon. We’ve melded several of our favorite recipes together into one cohesive dish with plenty of carrots so you don’t run out before the beef is gone and just the right number of mushrooms for that subtle earthy addition. You’ll also love that this freezes amazingly well for up to 6 months so you have a gorgeous dinner that you can bust out at any given time! Serve this over chunky slices of garlic rubbed bread to make sure you can soak up all the juices- you won’t want a single drop to go to waste!
8 ounces dry cured smoked bacon, diced
3 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds of carrots, sliced diagonally into 2-inch chunks
1 large Spanish or yellow onion, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
3 teaspoons chopped garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
15 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 pound fresh baby Bella mushrooms, ¼ inch slice
Multigrain bread toasted or grilled
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley to finish, optional
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon leaving the rendered fat behind. Place on a large plate, as this will also hold the beef once browed.
Using several paper towels, dry the beef cubes and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Still over medium heat, sear the beef in the Dutch oven, being sure to work in batches so there is only a single layer of beef at a time. Do not over crowd the pot. Turn the cubes so they brown evenly on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Really sear the beef so it’s nice and dark instead of just grayish. Once all the sides have been seared, use the slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pot, add it to the plate with the bacon, and continue working in batches with the beef until all of the cubes have been seared in the same way.
Continuing on medium heat, add the carrots, onions, and shallots to the Dutch oven. Cook the veggies for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every so often, until the onions and shallots become soft and begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
turn off the stove and pour the Cognac over the veggies. Standing away from the pot, ignite the liquid with a match or extended lighter. This will burn off the alcohol and preserve the complex Cognac flavoring. Once the flame has died down, turn the stove back onto medium heat and return the beef and bacon back to the pot along with all of the juices that have collected on the plate.
Now add the entire bottle of wine. Add just enough beef broth to almost cover the veggies and meat. If you don’t need all of it that’s fine. Stir in the tomato paste and add the thyme and bay leaves. Bring the whole mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered on the stove for 10-15 minutes to heat everything through. Put the lid on and move it to the oven for 2.5-3 hours, or until the meat is easily shredded with a fork.
During the last 20 minutes of the beef being in the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Once the beef is out of the oven, combine 3 tablespoons of butter with the flour in a medium size bowl until you have a uniform paste. Carefully ladle in ½ cup of the hot bourguignon broth and continue stirring to combine. Add a second ½ cup of the hot broth to the mixture, stirring to ensure there are no lumps of flour and butter. Using a whisk makes easy work of this step. Then add the broth, flour and butter mixture into the pot with the beef and veggies and gently stir to combine. Add the thawed pearl onions and the sautéed mushrooms and bring the bourguignon to a light simmer for 15 minutes so all the flavors are melded. Season to taste is needed.
To serve, grill or toast a thick slice of multigrain bread. option to rub it with garlic while it’s warm for some extra flavor. Spoon the bourguignon over the bread and garnish with chopped parsley if desired.