Beef Bourguignon - Classic Beef StewFeatured by Chauvot-Labaume in the International Wine Club.
2 pounds trimmed beef chuck,
cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound white mushrooms, quartered
In a large bowl, cover the beef with the wine. Add the onions, carrots, thyme, bay leaves and herbes de Provence, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the meat, vegetables and herbs, reserving the marinade. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over low heat until the bacon is browned and has rendered some fat, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Add the meat to the casserole in 3 batches and brown it well over moderate heat, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a platter. Add the onions and carrots to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the reserved marinade. Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the bacon and meat to the casserole along with any accumulated juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Heat the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and they have started to brown, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderate heat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Stir the mushrooms into the stew, season with salt and pepper and serve. The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently. Traditionally served with buttered noodles or boiled potatoes. Serves 4.