My first taste of this mouth-watering version of the classic French stew was during a trip to Vermont for my goddaughter’s christening. It was made by her grandmother, Mary Ellen, for both sides of the family, and I have been a devotee of it ever since. Thirteen years later, Mary Ellen shared with me the origin of the recipe: a magazine article she was reading in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Well, AMEN to that!
- 1/2 lb. large mushrooms, sliced thin
- 1/4 lb. butter
- 3 slices bacon
- 2 lbs. boneless beef, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 T. flour
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 peppercorns
- 3/4 cup beef stock or broth
- 1 1/2 cups burgundy wine
- 1/2 lb. whole pearl onions (these can be frozen, just thaw before use)
- Optional: Large carrot chunks
In a large pot (I use a heavy cast-iron Dutch oven), sauté the mushrooms in butter. Remove mushrooms and liquid and set aside. Fry the bacon, cut it into 1/2″ pieces, and set aside. (NOTE: You can microwave the bacon instead, and use the fat from previously cooked bacon, if you have it). Add the beef cubes to the bacon drippings, brown well. Blend in the flour, then add sugar, salt, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, beef stock, and wine. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Add the onions, mushrooms, bacon, and optional carrots. Simmer one hour longer. It will reduce down, but do add more wine if too much liquid has evaporated. Remove bay leaf and peppercorns. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired, and serve over rice. Serves 4-6.
Leftovers can be frozen (in my house, there are NEVER any leftovers of this).