Usually with any stew I make, I load it with lots of vegetables. In this dish, the vegetables were served on the side. If Beef or Chicken is used, normally I like to cook with wine in the dish. It lends such a richness to the gravy, and tenderizes the meat as well. Traditionally Beef Bourguignon is made with beef, mushrooms, bacon, red wine, a bouquet garnier and pearl onions. Mine was a bit different, however, this may well be the only way I make a stew of any kind again - so so good!
Growing up, my mother would make a Beef Bourguignon, as well as making the same dish using Chicken Livers. We can't seem to get Free Range Chicken Livers where I live, but if you can get them, give them a try. They really are delicious in a dish like this - packed full of flavor, and super tender. With this dish, the key is to use less liquid - just enough to surround the meat nicely. If you use Chicken livers, they will need less browning time and less cooking time as well.
1 lb. Hormone/Anti-biotic free Beef Stew
3 slices of bacon, chopped
4 large Crimini Mushrooms, sliced in half then chopped to a 1/2 inch size
1 onion, sliced
1 cup Beef Stock
1 cup Red Wine
1 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme or 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil, butter
Cornstarch and extra beef stock to make a slurry
Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat, and brown the bacon, then remove to a bowl. Add the beef in batches and brown on all sides, then remove to the bowl.
You may need a drizzle of olive oil and a dab of butter to the pan. Add the mushrooms, and saute until golden - then remove and add to the bowl.
Next, add in the sliced onions, season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onions begin to get golden in color. Add the Bay Leaf, Thyme and Red Wine, scraping up any brown bits.
Pour in the beef stock, then add in the bowl of beef, mushrooms and bacon.
Bring to a simmer, lid on and turn to a low simmer heat. Cook for 2 hours, then remove the lid and the Bay Leaf, and simmer about 10-15 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.
Look at the now very rich beef mushroom wine stock:
Make a cornstarch slurry - cornstarch and beef stock mixed well, slowly add to the stock, stirring well until you reach a nice gravy consistency.
Serve with potatoes of your choice and any side vegetables. (our local Asparagus will soon be finished for the season...sigh...I can not get enough of it ! :))