RECIPE: Beef braised in wine
I love beef burgundy, but the original recipes take forever and have many steps. Luckily my favorite chef, Jacques Pépin, has a much simpler recipe which is delicious. I’ve tweaked a couple of things from his original directions, which you can find here. You do have to let the stew cook for a few hours, but it mostly just bubbles along by itself while you do other things. We made it many times this winter, and while we’ve mostly moved on to spring, this is perfect for those occasional cold and/or rainy days. [It’s raining as I write this, so that might be why it seemed like the perfect time to post the recipe.]
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs chuck roast or other inexpensive stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle red wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley (with stems)
2 slices bacon (or 1 slice thick-cut bacon)
12 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
12 cremini mushrooms, halved
3-4 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a dutch oven or other deep, ovenproof pan. Sear meat over medium-high heat in the olive oil. Do one layer of beef at a time, sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper as you sear the cubes. Remove each layer from pan and set aside. Add chopped garlic, onion, and bacon to pan and saute on medium-low heat. When onion is translucent, add bay leaves and thyme, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.Return meat and its juices to pan and stir to combine. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir thoroughly until flour is fully integrated. Add wine gradually, stirring to mix with flour, then add broth, half the Italian parsley, and 1 tsp salt. The liquid should cover the meat. If it looks like too much, cut back the wine. If it’s too little, add water.
Cover pan and place in the oven for at least 3 hours. Stir every 45-50 minutes. The stew should be simmering gently; adjust the oven temperature up or down if needed.
With 1 hour to go for the meat, sauté the onions, carrots, and mushrooms in 2 Tb olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add them to the beef, and add water and/or wine if the sauce is very thick and reduced at this point (1-2 cups total additional liquid). If the sauce hasn’t reduced, leave it alone at this point.
Cover and cook for 40-45 minutes more. If the sauce is still thin and not properly reduced, uncover and simmer briskly on the stove for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining parsley.
You can serve this over egg noodles, boiled new potatoes, or even polenta, with green beans or a salad on the side. A crusty baguette makes a nice addition too.