I've watched the movie Julie and Julia dozens of times and I always love the the crazy "yuuum" Julie does when she tastes Julia's recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. After putting it off for some time, I finally decided to try it myself. After reading through the recipe at least 5 times, I knew it was going to be a very long process....but it was totally worth every minute!!
Step one- cube beef into two inch cubes and dry VERY well on paper towels. Getting the meat nice and dry makes it brown better.
I like to have everything prepped before I start cooking, so I sliced my onion and carrots too and set aside.
I did not buy bacon with a rind, instead, I chopped 6 oz of thick cut bacon and browned in my favorite Le Creuset Dutch oven.
Remove the browned bacon and brown the beef in batches.
Remove the beef and cook the carrots and onions until browned.
Add the beef back in and sprinkle with 2 TBS of flour, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and put in a 450 degree oven for 4 minutes. Toss again and put back in the oven for another 4 minutes.
While the beef is getting a nice crust in the oven, gather the components for the sauce.
After the full 8 minutes at 450- remove the pot from the oven and drop the temperature to 325 degrees.
To the browned beef, onion and carrot...add 3 cups of a good quality red wine, 1 TBS tomato paste, a bay leaf, dried thyme leaves, a few cloves of smashed garlic (no need to chop) and enough beef stock to cover the meat (about 2 cups). Bring to a simmer on the stove top, then cover and put in the oven for about 4 hours!!!!
After 3 1/2 hours, test the consistency of the meat. If it is getting really tender, start your onions. Put 1 1/2 TBS each of butter and olive oil in a skillet over Medium-High heat. Add in your pearl onions (I used frozen bagged onions, which I thawed in the refrigerator).
Brown for about 10 minutes, then add beef broth, thyme, 1/2 a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Drop to a light simmer and cover for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When onions are finished, put them aside and wipe out your skillet. Put 3 1/2 TBS of butter in the skillet and once it starts to smoke, add in 1 lb of quartered button mushrooms. Cook 4-5 minutes, until browned.
Pull the beef from the oven and strain the sauce. Reduce on the stove top until you have about 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Add back to the pot with the beef mixture, the pearl onions and the mushrooms. Toss to coat and put in the oven to heat through- I cooked mine another 10 minutes.
Serve over egg noodles, rice or potatoes. I felt boiled white potatoes would be the best as this is rather "pot roast" like. Don't be mistaken though- this is 1 million times better than pot roast :) It took a whole Saturday to make- but it was well worth the time!