Recipe: Beef Stewed in Wine with Bacon and Aromatics
I agonized over the title of this recipe. The end result is a Beef Stew, but that sounds so pedestrian. And it's so delicious — shouldn't I give it a fancier name than that? After all, the ingredients were adapted from the venerable Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon recipe that begins on page 271 of her 1968 classic, "The French Chef Cookbook."
Yield: 8 servings (6 if omitting the carrots and potatoes)
Active Time: 45 minutes
Simmer Time: 8-10 hours on low setting of crock pot
- 3 pounds lean stewing meat, such as rump, round or chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 8 tablespoons white flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes, left whole
- 6 strips raw bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 1/2 cups good red wine*
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs for garnish, if desired
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups baby (pearl) onions, skin removed**
- 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half if large
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*Select a wine that you would enjoy serving as an accompaniment to the stew.
**To remove skin, cook in boiling water 3 minutes and drain. Skins should easily slide off.
1. Season beef with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; coat beef in 4 tablespoons of flour. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil to medium-high heat Sear beef on all sides until well browned. With a slotted spoon, remove beef from oil and place in the bottom of a 6 1/2 quart Crock-Pot.
2. Place carrots, potatoes and bacon over beef. Whisk tomato paste with beef stock, wine and garlic and pour into pot. Stir in thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Cover pot and cook over low heat 4 hours.
3. Stir in baby onions and mushrooms. Cover and continue cooking an additional 4-5 hours or until beef is tender. (Note: if you are away from home the day, you may simmer the mushrooms and onions at the beginning of cooking time, with the beef.)
4. In a medium-sized bowl, with a fork, combine remaining 4 tablespoons of flour and butter to make a thick paste. Whisk a cup of the beef cooking liquid over the paste and whisk until paste is smooth. Pour mixture into the Crock-Pot and stir well to incorporate into the stew. Cook an additional 30 minutes or until stew has thickened. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Serve garnished with fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.
This recipe was adapted by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Dec. 8, 2011.