It’s a frigid 3 degrees today, with plenty of snow and ice to boot. The kids are running about the house and making as many little messes as possible, naturally. The winter break this year seems a bit longer than others in the past and I can’t put my finger on why. Perhaps it’s that the weather is colder this year. Perhaps it’s that we have had company and parties, one after another for two months straight. Perhaps it’s that my children received louder toys for their holiday gifts. Or perhaps its just that they talk more now than ever before. Either way, it’s cold, loud, messy, and I’m pretty sure this anxious feeling is also known as cabin fever! 😐
I must either lock myself in a room of solitude to refrain from going completely bonkers or cook something tedious that requires time, patience and love.
You will need:
- 2-3 lbs beef (either roast, chuck, or any mildly fatty piece), cubed into 1″ pieces
- 3 large carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 stocks celery, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 whole medium white or yellow onions, chopped
- 2 leaks, cut into 1″ pieces
- chop top 6″ off (its bitter and not tasty), cut leaks in 1/2 length ways, rinse under cold water to remove sand, and cut into 1″ pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
- 1 qt beef stock
- 1 bottle of good red wine like Merlot or Cabernet
And here’s how I do it:
This recipe works best with a dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Preheat the pot of your choosing on high, we want this sucker to be hot as we are only wanting to brown the meat. Once the pot is hot, add your beef, only to cover the bottom of the pot, do not layer as the meat will then steam and not brown. This is not a steaming meat recipe. You will want to turn the meat chunks to brown all sides. Once this is achieved, remove the meat and put into a large bowl or platter only to hold until the remainder of your chunks are complete. I do not add oil or butter to the meat since most of the roasts have enough fattiness, however if you feel the meat is sticking or requires a little extra fat feel free to add some.
Once your meat has completed its brown stage and you’ve removed the chunks from your pot, turn down the heat to medium-high and add your butter. Once the butter has melted you can add the oil and vegetables in too. We want the veggies to soak up the meat left-overs and par-cook. Stir every few minutes to ensure the veggies don’t burn .
After the veggies have sweat, add the herbs and garlic and stir for 90 seconds. Add in the wine, beef stock and beef chunks. Bring to a boil and cover with lid for a minimum of 4 hours, 6 is preferred for stove top cooking. Stir every 30 minutes or so to ensure the liquid hasn’t fully evaporated and the pot of wonderfulness cooks evenly. If the liquid evaporates you’re welcome to add more wine, beef stock or even water. Constant liquid is required to properly BRAISE the meat.
Tips: If you’re having guests over that you’re trying to impress replace the onions with pearl onions and swap the chopped carrots for baby carrots or miniature carrots in a variety of colors. You may also add in mushrooms if you’re the type that eats those. I am not- bleh. Little golden or purple potatoes are also an option however we typically serve our Bourguignon with mashed potatoes or creamed cauliflower.
You may use this same recipe for the oven style, too. Simply use an oven safe dish, such as a dutch oven, preheat oven to 350 and after you’ve completed the steps above, place dish into the oven for 3 hours, stirring every 45-60 minutes. If a slow-cooker is easier for you and your family, I recommend preparing the veggies and browning the meat the night before and then placing the ingredients into your slow cooker with the liquid, and refrigerated overnight. Come morning, place the slow cooker on low and cook for hours, or high for 4 hours.
After your house has been filled with the most amazing smells, your tummy begins to gurgle, it’s almost time to eat! Again, you can prepare mashed potatoes, creamed cauliflower, or any side dish of your choosing but keep it simple as this is a very powerful and flavorful dish.