From The Papa’s Kitchen
This is a riff on a wonderful French dish made famous by Julia Childs. It has been copied by many – and now by me. It’s really not as complicated as it appears here or on the video, and I encourage you to go ahead and try it. You will love it!
1 Tbls of good olive oil
6-8 oz of bacon diced (I used Applewood flavor)
2.5 lbs of chuck beef cut into approx. 1″ cubes
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
1 lbs of carrots sliced into 1″ chunks (I leave the skin on for this)
2 Medium Yellow Onions, sliced
1/2 cup of Cognac
1 bottle of good dry red wine – I used Pinot Noir
2 cups of beef broth (approx.)
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme
4 Tbls unsalted butter room temperature
1 pound (I used one bag) frozen pearl onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms – discard the stems, then thickly slice
Serve over a toasted Sour Dough or Country Bread – try rubbing with a garlic clove
Preheat over to 250 degrees F
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat, while stirring occasionally until the bacon is lightly brown. Then remove the bacon to a side plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towel and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. In batches in a single layer, sear the beef in the Dutch oven on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to a side plate with the bacon and keep repeating this process until all your beef is seared.
Once the beef is removed toss the carrots and sliced onions, and 1 Tbls of salt and 2 tsp of pepper in the fat in the Dutch oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute or so. Do not burn the garlic. Then add the Cognac, stand back (very important here), and ignite with a flame to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices collected. Add the whole bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring all this to a simmer, then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1.25 hours OR until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
When you remove it from the oven combine 2 Tbls of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. (I didn’t do it this way, and it was much harder to incorporate into the pot). Add the frozen onions. Also, saute the mushrooms in a separate pan in 2 Tbls of butter until they are lightly browned, and then add them as well to the stew. NOW – THIS IS IMPORTANT – Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste and you’re ready to serve.