Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

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  • 2-3 pounds steak tips
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 pound pearl onions
  • Optional: 1 pound baby bella mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup+ sugar
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir (3 cups)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

Season your meat with salt and pepper (and optional fish sauce). I like to leave spread out on a plate in the refrigerator overnight, open to the air, so that the meat dries out and browns better.

Boil a big pot of water, and have a big pot of cold water near. Blanch the pearl onions by boiling them for 30-45 seconds, then draining them, then dowsing them in the cold water, and finally rubbing off the skin. Chop the ends off of each pearl onion.

Add a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a couple tablespoons of butter to a medium pan, over medium heat. Once the oil is heated put the blanched pearl onions into the pan. Add salt to taste and just a little sugar.

Cook the pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Set them aside. If using mushrooms, wash and remove the stems from them, slice them, and add them to the onions after the onions start to get soft, cooking them with the onions. If not using mushrooms, sprinkle some fish sauce on the pearl onions!

Meanwhile prepare your other vegetables and meat. Peel the carrots, and slice into short sticks. Julienne the yellow onions. Crush the garlic. Cut the steak tips into 1” pieces. Dice the bacon small.

Heat a large pot over medium temperature, with just enough olive oil in it to coat the bottom. Add the bacon. Once the bacon has started to brown, add the steak tips. Once the steak tips are browned remove the meat from the pot, setting aside, leaving the liquid at the bottom.

Let the water boil off of the liquid at the bottom of the pot, and the add the carrots, yellow onions, and garlic. Add salt, black pepper and just a little sugar as needed.

Once the onions are soft, pour the cognac over the vegetables in the pot. Light the cognac with a long match.

Add the beef and bacon back to the pot. Pour in the wine and the beef stock. Raise the heat to medium high, to help boil off some of the alcohol. Once the stew starts to warm up, stir in the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of sugar.

After a bit remove a cup or two of liquid to a separate bowl, and whisk in the cornstarch to thicken. Then return the thickened liquid to the pot.

Add the pearl onions back to the pot.

Tie several sprigs of parsley, several sprigs of thyme, and two bay leaves into a bundle. Place in the stew pot.

The stew can be cooked on the stove top on medium for a couple hours, or put into a slow cooker to cook on low for 5-6 hours or so, stirring as needed.

When the stew is ready, remove the bundle of herbs and serve.

Serves: 6-8. Serve with egg noodles (prepared with butter and extra herbs leftover from making the stew), or Bread.

Preparation time: 3+ hours, more if put into a slow cooker (ideally started an entire day before)