If Julia Child had tried this recipe, she would have thrown her 5-hour, Level Advanced boeuf bourguignon straight out the window. I can’t tell you the number of expletives that slipped through my lips as I bit into my first piece of tender, juicy meat, or licked the remains of a sauce rich with bits of bacon, wild mushrooms, black pepper and good red wine. I literally ran my finger over the plate to get every last bit.
This miraculously chic dish came from the cast-aways of my beef tenderloin extravaganza. That’s right – the more fatty, tissuey ends of the massive beef tenderloin. I sliced them thick and prepared them as Ina Garten would use a filet of beef mignon. The result was culinary magic.
I made a few changes to the recipe – for instance, using frozen pearl onions (who has that kind of time?) and reducing the amount of bacon (I didn’t have enough on hand).
I know that I said beef tenderloin should be a once-a-year kind of thing. But whoa, friends, am I rethinking my resolution.
Updated Beef Bourguignon
- 1 (3-pound) filet of beef, trimmed, or 3 pounds of beef tenderloin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning plus 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 to 4 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/4 pound bacon, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups good dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Chianti
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 pound frozen pearl onions
- 8 to 10 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 pound wild mushrooms (I used cremini), sliced 1/4-inch thick
With a sharp knife, cut the beef crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Salt and pepper the filets on both sides. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used my Dutch oven) on medium-high heat, sear the slices of beef in batches with 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until browned on the outside and very rare inside, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove the fillets from the pan and set aside.
In the same pot, saute the bacon on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Drain all the fat, except 2 tablespoons, from the pot (or leave it…meh). Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pot with the red wine and cook on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and return it to the pot. Add the frozen onions and carrots and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and the vegetables are cooked.
With a fork, mash 2 tablespoons butter and the flour into a paste and whisk it gently into the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken.
Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender.
Add the beef slices, the mushrooms, and the bacon to the pan with the vegetables and sauce. Cover and reheat gently for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Season, to taste, and serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
Le sigh. I don’t have any other good pictures, but let your minds wander…
I’ve already waxed on about how yummy this dish is. And it was kind of fun to make on a day when you have some time to devote to your kitchen creations.