YIELDS | 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME | 30 MINS
COOK TIME | 1 HR 15 MINS
My dad use to make a version of this dish several times a year. The main difference between American beef stew and this quintessentially French dish is the large amount of red wine used to create its rich, savory depth of flavor. Be sure to serve it with a warm, crusty baguette and a good red wine.
• 1 tablespoon good olive oil
• 6 strips, thick, smoked bacon, diced
• 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes. See notes
• 1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
• 2 yellow onions, cut in half and then sliced (moon shaped)
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup Cognac
• 1-750 ML bottle good, dry red wine
• 2 cups beef broth
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 pound frozen pearl onions
• 1 pound fresh mushrooms, washed and trimmed, thickly sliced
• 1/2 cup parsley, stems removed and chopped, for garnish, optional
• 1 tablespoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Crusty French bread
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon and and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon or fork and place onto a large plate. Do not use paper towels. Set aside.
4. Rinse and dry the beef cubes. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper pepper. Working in batches, sear the beef for 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to turn the meat so that all sides brown. Remove the seared beef from the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon or fork, leaving the fat in the pan, and place the beef as it finishes browning on the plate with the bacon.
5. Add the carrots, onions and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt along with 2 1/2 teaspoons of pepper to the pan and coat with the fat.
6. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and until the vegetables are tender and the onions are slightly caramelized.
7. Add the Cognac to the Dutch oven and and turn the heat up to high and cook for the 1-2 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
8. Add the beef and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine and one cup of the beef broth. Add the tomato paste to the remaining cup of beef broth and mix to incorporate. Pour the broth and paste mixture into the pot along with the thyme and give it a good whirl.
9. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Remove from the stove and pop it I to the preheated oven for about 1-1/4-1-1/2hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
While you wait for the beef to cook:
10. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and set aside.
11. When the stew is ready, remove from the oven and place back onto the stove top.
12. In a small bowl, Mix 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter and the flour with a fork and then stir it into the stew.
13. Add the frozen onions to the pot and bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms.
14. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty French bread and a good bottle of Pinot noir or Côté du Rhône.
Big time saver: Ask the butcher at your local grocery store to cut the beef up for you.
Double this recipe because it is time consuming and it freezes well.