Updated: Aug 16, 2019
I would have hated this dish as a child. Every night I would ask my mum what was for dinner and if she said stew, I would think ugh. It's funny how our taste's change as we get older. After my entire lifetime of hating blue cheese, a couple of months ago I was at a friends place and decided to try some and low and behold, I loved it! Now I can't get enough blue cheese, and stew for that matter. This one's a beaut. I've adapted the classic Julia Child Boeuf Bourguignon recipe to be more user friendly without sacrificing flavour but it still does take a while so one weekend, take your time and enjoy a glass (or 3) of wine as you're cooking it.
Much to my surprise, my kids actually enjoy this beef stew, guess the apple does fall far from the tree. Even if they refuse to eat it though, I only serve one meal and there are no alternatives, nothing else until the next meal. It's a tough stance but I firmly believe that its the start of a slippery slope and I will NOT negotiate with terrorists!
“Cooking the mushrooms separately before adding to the stew seems like a hassle but let me tell you, one extra little step treats those mushrooms with respect and really makes the entire dish.”
Beef Bourguignon adapted from a Julia Child recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours
Serves 3 adults or 2 adults 2 kids with mash potato/rice/pasta/bread
180g Speck or Bacon, chopped
900g Chuck Steak, chopped chunky
2 Carrots, chopped chunky,
1 Onion, diced
6 Cloves of Garlic, chopped (3 in the stew, 3 for the mushrooms)
2 Tablespoons Plain Flour
8 Pearl Onions, peeled whole
3 Cups (700mL) Light Red Wine (like a Pinot or Merlot)
2-3 Cups of Beef Stock
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
1 Beef Bullion Cube, crushed
8 Stalks Thyme, stripped
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Butter
Handful of Parsley, chopped
Step 1- Starting in a cold, large dutch oven, fry the bacon. I find that starting in the pot cold and bringing to heat, the fat renders from the bacon and I don't need to add any extra oil. Remove and set aside.
Step 2- In the same pot and in the bacon fat, fry the beef to brown well. Remove and set aside.
Step 3- In the same pot and in the bacon and beef fat, saute the onion and carrot until soft. Add in the garlic and saute for an extra minute. Add back the beef and bacon and any resting juices.
Step 4- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to cook it out for a few minutes.
Step 5- To this, add the pearl onions, red wine, tomato paste, bullion cube, thyme, bay leaves and enough beef stock just to cover.
Step 6- Cover with the lid and simmer over low heat until the beef is tender and falling apart. Approximately 2 hours.
Step 7- In a frying pan, melt the butter to nut brown, and add the mushrooms and the garlic. Fry until tender and add into the stew pot.
Step 8- Shower with chopped parsley and serve with mashed potato, rice, pasta or crusty bread.