Beef Bourguignon

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Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m turning my attention back to the stove and my dutch oven. I had a craving for a beef stew and Lynn Crawford’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon is the best I’ve made. I like that it doesn’t have  tomato paste as one of the ingredients… I don’t want tomato overtones interfering with the beefy, mushroomy, thyme-y goodness.

1/4 cup plain flour
1 kg lean diced beef, cut into 3 cm cubes
6 tbsp butter
500 ml red wine (I use malbec or other South American wines for their affinity with beef and cheaper price tag than Burgundy)
500 ml beef broth
5 or 6 sprigs of thyme
2 or 3 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cooking onion, diced
4 medium carrots, cut into coins (quarter the coins if very large)
500 gram new potatoes, quartered
500 grams chestnut mushrooms, quartered if quite large

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large dutch oven on medium. In a wide, shallow bowl, season the plain flour with salt and pepper, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour, shake off excess coating. Depending on your pan’s surface area, brown the beef in batches (add more butter as you go along), setting browned cubes to the side. Return all beef to pan and deglaze with red wine, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until wine is reduced by half. Pour in beef broth and drop in the bay leaves and thyme, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

While the beef simmers, melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large saute pan on medium, chop your onions, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and garlic, adding each in turn to the saute pan, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go, taking care that the garlic does not burn.

When the beef’s 45 minutes are up, add the sauted vegetables to the stew and simmer for at least half an hour, partially covered.

I suggest making it a day before you plan to serve it, it does well with an overnight in the fridge.

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