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The Ultimate Beef Bourguignon

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 ounces bacon, sliced crosswise into thin strips (¼-inch x 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion, medium diced
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with butcher’s twine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 15 pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley


Procedures:

One of the best known French dishes, and like most stews, it is best made a day or two in advance so the flavors can mingle and develop. Frozen pearl onions will work in this recipe; however, fresh will have better texture and flavor. Peeling pearl onions is easier after a short blanch.

Instant Pot Directions:

Set Instant Pot to Sauté and add oil. When oil is shimmering, add bacon and sauté bacon pieces until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and reserve bacon fat in the pan.

Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add the beef to the Instant Pot and sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Transfer seared beef to bowl with bacon. Reduce heat setting to low and add the carrot and onion to the pan; sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Return the beef and vegetables; season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over and toss to lightly coat. Slowly stir in wine and add enough broth to just cover the meat. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Lock the lid and select High Pressure, setting the timer for 40 minutes.

While the beef is cooking, blanch the pearl onions in rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim ends and peel; set aside.

To a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add butter. When butter is melted and foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms, and stir to coat vegetables with the melted butter. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender and have developed caramelization, about 8 minutes.

When the timer on Instant Pot goes off, release the pressure and check the meat. If meat is not tender, cook for additional 5 minutes or so. Remove the meat and vegetables to a bowl, discard thyme and bay leaves. Select Sauté setting on Instant Pot and reduce the braising liquid, skimming off the fat. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms. Continue simmering until the liquid reduces into a sauce and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Return beef and vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Just before serving, stir in parsley, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and ladle into shallow soup bowls.

Stovetop Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Position 1 rack in the middle of the oven and make sure there is enough clearance for the Dutch oven with the lid on the top rack.

To a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, add oil. When oil is shimmering, add bacon and sauté bacon pieces until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and reserve bacon fat in the pan.

Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat. When the fat is shimmering, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, add the beef and sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Transfer seared beef to bowl with bacon. Reduce heat to medium and add the carrot and onion to the pan; sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Return the beef and vegetables; season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over and toss to lightly coat. Slowly stir in wine and add enough broth to just cover the meat. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan and place in preheated oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, blanch the pearl onions in rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool. Trim ends and peel; set aside.

To a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add butter. When butter is melted and foaming subsides, add pearl onions and mushrooms, and stir to coat vegetables with the melted butter. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender and have developed caramelization, about 8 minutes.

When the beef is fork tender, ladle the stew out of the Dutch oven into a large sieve set over a large saucepan. Bring saucepan to a simmer over medium heat. Rinse out the Dutch oven and return all the stew solids from the sieve to it, discarding the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms to the Dutch oven. Skim fat off of the surface of the braising liquid with a ladle and discard fat. Continue simmering until the broth reduces into a sauce and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce back into the Dutch oven and stir to combine with the beef and vegetables.

To serve: Reheat the stew slowly over medium heat, gently stirring as needed. Just before serving, stir in parsley, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and ladle into shallow soup bowls.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

 
 
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