Beef Bourguignon

It’s rainy and cold outside. It’s my favorite weather for slow cooked Beef Bourguignon. Not only is it a rather easy dish to prepare, it fills the house with comforting smells and warmth from the oven 🙂

Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Beef Bourguignon
serves about 6
* 2 lbs stewing meat (beef cubes)
* 1 bottle of Pinot Noir
* 2 TBSP fennel seeds
* zest from 1/2 a navel orange
* 1 bay leaf
* 8 sprigs of thyme
* 6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
* a carton of crimini mushrooms (try to get small ones or cut larger ones in half)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 handfuls of baby carrots
* 2 TBSP tomato paste
* salt and pepper to taste

Put the beef, wine, fennel, bay leaf and orange zest in a non-reactive bowl and marinate overnight.

~3 hours before you want to serve dinner, take the beef out of the marinate and let it sit on paper towels. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven, render the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Dump all but 2 TBSP of the bacon grease. Keep the 2 TBSP in the pot.

Sear the semi-dried beef in the bacon grease. (Make sure you turn the meat only once and only when it has a nice golden crust. It shouldn’t take too long per side. ~1-2 mins). You also might need to do this in multiple batches. Don’t crowd the pot. Once seared, remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Add the onions and carrots scraping up any of the browned bits in the pan. Cook on medium for about 5 mins.

Add the tomato paste and stir until it takes on a deeper red color. Add the thyme, marinade (minus the orange peel), and the beef and any beef juices from the reserve bowl. Cook on the stove until slightly simmering.

Cover the pot and put it in the oven at 325 degrees for one hour. Make sure it’s not boiling at this point. If it is, turn down the oven to 300 degrees. Give the pot a stir.

Set your timer for another hour. Check the meat at this point. It should be getting tender and moist. Add the mushrooms and bacon back to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and a tsp of salt. Cook for 30 more minutes.

Take it out of the oven (leaving the lid on the pot). Let it settle for about 20 minutes. Check for salt and pepper. Add accordingly.

Serve with egg noodles, boiled potatoes or French bread.

Enjoy!

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My First…Pot Roast

I’m generally a bit anxious about cooking big hunks of meat. Like what happens if it sucks? It seems so disrespectful.

So, I’ve avoided things like whole roast chicken, prime rib, pot roast. Until yesterday when a cooking show inspired my cravings. I knew I wouldn’t settle until I shoveled that comforting roast into my head hole.

The only thing is, I’m not home. Therefore, there’s no crockpot or Dutch oven. I did my best with what I had. And ya know, it turned out spectacular.

If you’re inspired to try this out, make sure you give yourself enough time to cook it. We didn’t have dinner until 8 after starting the process at 4:30. But slow cooking results in some of my favorite meals!

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Oh Pot Roast
• 2 to 2.5 lb beef roast (make sure there’s some marbling going on. You’ll want the fat.)
• 3 celery stalks, sliced on the diagonal 1/2″ thick
• 1 medium yellow onion, sliced in half moons 1/4″ thick
• 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
• a large handful of baby carrots cut in half
• 5 sprigs of thyme
• 2 cups beef broth
• 1/4 cup tomato sauce (you may use tomato paste but shrink to 2TBSP)
• 1-2 TBSP balsalmic vinegar
• 2 TBSP olive oil
• 1 Bay leaf
• 2 pieces if orange zest (1″x3″)
• garlic salt
• salt and pepper

Garlic salt and pepper the meat. Cut up all the veggies while the meat comes closer to room temp. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat up the oil in a large pot (Dutch oven would be best) on medium high heat. Place the meat in the pot and hear the most pleasing pot applause. I love that sizzle. Sear all sides of the meat until it gets a beautiful crust.

Take the meat out of the pot and add the veggies, garlic and a few pinches of salt. Lower the heat to medium and sweat the veggies. Add the tomato sauce and cook for a couple mins. Add the thyme, orange zest, bay leaf and stock and vinegar. Add the meat back to the pot. Cover it and put it in the oven. Bake for approx 3 hours. Turn the meat once halfway through.

Check the meat. It should be fork tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes, pappardelle, or polenta.

Enjoy!