The quintessential French recipe boeuf bourguignon takes chunks of beef and stews it in a rich braise of thickened wine, stock and aromatics. After two hours of braising, the flavors of cognac, bacon and wine meld into the beef for a tender stew. Mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions are sautéed before being stirred into the pot to cook down with the beef.
The stew gets the majority of its flavor and dark color from the wine it is braised in. So just like its namesake, we recommend braising the beef in a Burgundy wine, which holds up to the forceful flavor of bacon. Make sure to get a deep sear on the beef, too—the fond that gathers on the bottom of the pan adds richness to the finished dish.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Boeuf Bourguignon."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch lardons
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cognac
3 cups dry red wine (preferably from Burgundy)
2 cups beef stock
4 parsley stems
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
One 4-inch celery stalk
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
1 pound pearl onions, peeled
2 carrots, diced into ½-inch pieces
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon lardons and cook until golden brown, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then add it to the pot. Cook, turning as needed, until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer the beef to the plate with the bacon.
2. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook until soft and caramelized, 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cognac and stir, scraping up any fond that has developed on the bottom of the pot. Slowly pour in the wine and the beef stock, stirring until incorporated.
3. Using butcher's twine, tie together the parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves and celery, then add the bundle to the pot, along with the reserved beef and bacon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thickened, 2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions and carrots, and cook until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir into the braising beef for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
5. Season with salt and pepper, then divide between bowls. Garnish with parsley and serve.