This is a project, I have to be honest, but well worth it, it came out AMAZING! The beef was so tender and the vegetables were so full of flavor! Last night my husband and I had dinner at Zola, a French bistro here in town. The food was really good, very rich, but in portions that one can handle the richness. My husband and I like sharing our food so we can try more things that way and generally control the large portions that most restaurants dish out. We have been to this restaurant one other time so I knew the portions were normal human sized, so we shared a beet salad, which was delicious, and got a scallop dish and Short Rib Beef Bourguignon. The beef dish was so delicious that my husband requested that we try to recreate it at home. “We,” hah! Anyways, the cooking thing is my new hobby, so I said why not try it.
I made this following a recipe by Melissa Clark on the New York Times Cooking site. I added twice as many vegetables, much less bacon and a pound less beef than the original recipe. I also decided to throw the mushrooms into the stew while it was cooking instead of the traditional method of sautéing the mushrooms with additional onions in butter and adding them when serving. This way I saved some calories (no butter) and an extra step that I won’t miss! If you want it richer, then go ahead with this step. I also added some baby potatoes to the stew, so it can be a complete one pot meal and will hopefully feed us for the next two nights (because now I am tired).
Beef and Vegetable Bourguignon
Lighter and healthier version of the traditional French Beef Bourguignon with added vegetables
- 2 pounds beef (beef chuck is most common, but can be very fatty – today I used organic grass-fed chuck eye steak and beef ranch steak), cut into 2-inch cubes and patted dry.
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 strips of applewood smoked bacon, thick cut (or any bacon)
- 1 large yellow onion, medium dice
- 3 large carrots, large dice
- 3 celery stalks, large dice
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on the size (I also had some trumpet mushrooms in my fridge so I threw those in)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tomato, medium dice
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups red wine, preferably a light young red such as Pinot Noir
- 1 cup beef stock or low sodium beef broth
- 1 large bay leaf
- 3 large sprigs of thyme
- 3 sprigs of parsley
- 2 cups of mixed color baby potatoes (or large potatoes cut in 2 inch cubes)
- Season beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel line plate and pat off as much grease as you can. Wipe out at least half of the bacon grease left in the pan, leaving a little grease and all the browned bits for flavor.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Raise the heat under the dutch oven to medium-high. When pot is fully heated, add the beef in a single layer in the pot, leaving space between each piece. Cook until well browned on all sides and transferring pieces to a plate as they brown, about 10-15 minutes. Repeat with remaining beef.
- Crumble or chop the crisped bacon into a small pieces. Set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium to prevent burning and stir in onion, carrot and celery. Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, tomato and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute and then add wine, stock, bay leaf, thyme and parsley, scraping up browned bits at bottom of the pot.
- Add the browned beef and bacon back to the pot, along with two cups of mixed baby potatoes and then cover with tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Let cook in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Occasionally stir the beef mixture while it is cooking in the oven.
- When finished cooking taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Fish out the bay leaf, parsley and thyme sprigs and discard. Serve in individual casserole dishes or in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Bon Appétit!
March 4, 2017