I don't know about you but this December has been full of all things congestion, respiratory ailments and fever. After traveling for the holidays, our family came back a little more under the weather and in serious need of a home-cooked comfort meal. I have had a go-to pot roast recipe I rarely deviate from but decided to change it up and finally try a beef bourguignon.
I'll tell you, I thought I was saving this recipe for a nice dinner or a hosting opportunity. There's something about the name alone that just sounds all Frenchy and fancy. But when thinking of something to make and feed our family, it felt like a perfect sick-day-feel-better-pajamas-on-the-couch meal too, so it can go either way, dressed up or dressed very down! I look for dishes that are robust with flavor and this did not disappoint. It is important to reduce the wine to the point where it is syrupy, then slowly add in the other ingredients for the sauce, a little at a time, continuing to reduce, so that the flavors are very poignant in taste.
I followed this recipe as a baseline, but also took my own liberties. For example, I don't do mushrooms. Someone once looked at me and said how can you call yourself a foodie if you don't eat one of the most delectable flavors there is? Well, I have tried, it's not for me, and I get by. I just hate the texture of them and can't do it. They are a umami, so I know the flavor elevates a dish. I've cooked with them before if it's an easy discard but this wouldn't be that. I decided to use onions instead because that is my "umami". Instead of full on soy sauce, I did part soy, part Worcestershire for more diverse flavor. Finally, I used butter to give it that final kick of dimension for rich, velvety goodness.
I also like to shred my meat rather than cook it cubed. I feel like it is more tender and flavorful that way. However, this method can also soak up more of the juices or sauce which depletes from the final result when time to serve. Making this for the first time, I used potatoes in the cooking process and the amount of sauce in the pan worked well. If I were to omit the potatoes when cooking and save them for a cauliflower/potato mash or polenta, I would have wanted this to have a bit more sauce to it. If you plan to serve over a starch, I would go heavier on the liquids by about 1/4 a cup each so you have plenty of sauce to serve with your dish.
I use a dutch oven when "slow cooking" because the flavor to me is better, but many prefer to use the crock pot. For crock pot instructions, refer to the linked recipe above, but come back here for step-by-step cooking directions.
Yields 6 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
- 5 slices of bacon
- Salt and pepper
- 3 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into large sections (about 5 for that size)
- 1 cup red wine (I used a Pinot Noir which is a Burgundy and perfect for this dish)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tbsp. thyme
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup baby potatoes, chopped (I used smaller pearled potatoes and cut them in fourths)
- 1/2 onion, chopped in larger chunks
- fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On medium-low heat, add the bacon to the pot and allow to crisp. As it does, it will create a nice pot of grease for you to use in the next step! While bacon cooks, season beef with salt and pepper. When bacon is crisp, remove and discard.
Next, turn up the heat to medium-high and add your sections of beef to the pot to sear in the bacon grease, about 1-2 minutes per side. This locks in the flavor and will make your beef even more tender. Once all is seared, remove beef to a plate and set aside.
Next, add in the wine and turn up to simmer to allow the wine to reduce. Scrape the brown bits from the sides of the pan from the bacon and the beef. Reduce by about half and it should look a little syrupy, then add in the beef stock about 1/2 cup at a time, keeping the heat high. Next add in the tomato sauce, then soy sauce, followed by the Worcestershire. Let this all simmer together for about 5 minutes, then stir in the butter until melted. Final step for the sauce is to thicken it with the flour. Turn down the heat to medium and add the flour, about a tbsp at a time, and whisk constantly until all combined without lumps.
Add the beef back in and settle around the pan, then add the garlic, carrots, potatoes, onion and finally the thyme. Give it all a big stir, put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 hours.
When the timer goes off, remove from the oven and using tongs, remove the meat to shred on a plate, discarding any additional fat, then adding meat back into the pot. You can allow this to sit on the stove over low heat until ready to serve!
For a bonus recipe, make this super easy and delicious roasted parmesan green beans side from Skinnytaste to pair with your Beef Bourguignon.