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Bacon, Mushroom and Beef Stew Recipe

Bacon, Mushroom and Beef Stew

After seeing the film Julie and Julia, I was inspired to make Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignonne. But the first order of business was to adapt the original time-consuming recipe to one that fit my hectic schedule, without compromising its rich taste. One step never to skip, however, is thoroughly browning the meat in small batches, which gives the stew so much depth of flavor. You can make this one day ahead - in fact, it tastes even better that way.

by Alison Needham

What you'll need

  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 3 pounds lean stew meat,, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups good quality, rich red wine
  • 2-3 cup good quality beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions, defrosted and drained
  • 1 pound sliced crimini mushrooms
  • parsley for garnish

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Pat meat thoroughly dry with paper towels and set aside.
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is beginning to crisp. Remove bacon, and set aside in a medium bowl.
  4. When the bacon fat is very hot, but not quite smoking, place about 1/4 of the meat into it, browning quickly on all sides, taking care not to crowd or it won't color well. Continue cooking the meat in this way, until it is all browned, removing the meat from the pan each time and placing it in the same bowl with the bacon.
  5. Add the carrot and onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Remove to the same bowl as the meat and bacon.
  6. Drain the fat from the pot. Return the bacon, beef and vegetables to the pan and sprinkle on the flour, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  7. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Place in the oven and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours.
  8. While the meat is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  9. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  10. After the stew has cooked for 2 hours, stir in the mushrooms and onions. Return to the oven and continue baking until meat is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Taste for seasoning.
  11. At this point, if you are serving immediately, skim any fat from the top, sprinkle with parsley and serve over noodles, mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes. If you are making it ahead, cool to room temperature and refrigerate. When ready to reheat, skim any fat from the top, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat. This should take about 30 minutes.