This is cheater Beef Bourguignonne, but it’s easy, boozy and delicious. Classic beef Bourguignonne can be fussy, but you can get the same great flavor, with less work!
This is a great entertaining dish because it is best made a day ahead of time. The 24 hours of refrigeration help the flavors to meld and intensify.This also freezes well and is a treat to keep in your freezer for a cozy last minute winter meal.
½ pounds Pancetta, Cut In 1/2″ Chunks
4 pounds Beef Stew Meat (such As Beef Chuck), Cut In 1 1/2 To 2″ Chunks
Salt And Pepper
½ cups Flour, Divided
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil As Needed
6 stalks Leeks, Cleaned And Sliced With White Parts And Light Green Parts Only
1 pound Carrots, Peeled And Sliced On The Diagonal Into 1 1/2″ Pieces
1 head Garlic Cloves, Peeled
½ cups Brandy
3 cups Beef Broth, Divided
2 bottles Pinot Noir, 750 Ml Bottles
1 pound Mushrooms, Cleaned And Quartered
3 leaves Bay Leaves
½ cups Fresh Thyme, Chopped
4 teaspoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
Chopped Parsley For Garnish
Heat oven to 325 F. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot add pancetta and cook it until crisp. Remove pancetta from the pot, leaving the rendered fat in the pot, and let the pancetta drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
Dry the beef cubes well, and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Put half the beef in a bowl and sprinkle with half of the flour. Toss to coat well. Remove the coated beef to a plate. Repeat with the second half of the beef and remaining 1/4 cup of flour.
Next you’ll be cooking the beef, working in batches with plenty of room between the pieces of meat. So put some of the beef into the hot Dutch oven. Brown the beef on all sides over medium-high heat. As meat browns, transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Keep cooking the rest of the beef. The flour and fat will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan and form fond. This is good, just take care to stir and not to blacken it. Add a bit of canola oil as needed if you need more fat.
Once meat is browned and has been transferred to the bowl, saute leeks and carrots in the same pot for about 8 minutes, until they are soft and have begun to caramelize. As the vegetables cook, stir frequently, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. As the vegetables release some of their moisture, the fond will begin to loosen. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add vegetables to the beef bowl and set aside.
Turn the heat up to high and carefully add brandy or cognac to the pot. Vigorously scrape up the bits of fond from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the liquor to a few tablespoons. Add 1 1/2 cups beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid to about half.
Return the pancetta, meat and vegetables back to the pot, along with any juices that may have accumulated. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, wine, mushrooms, herbs, sugar and tomato paste. Liquid should just cover meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil. Stir deeply, scraping the bottom of the pot then put the lid on. Place it in the hot oven and cook for an hour and a half with the lid on. Remove the lid and stir. Return it to the oven for another hour and a half, stirring and checking every 30 minutes. Dish is ready when beef is fork-tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick broth. Garnish with chopped parsley.