I serve this excellent dish with creamy coleslaw and a full-bodied red wine. No need for potatoes or rice. Serves 6

2-1/2 lb Lean boneless beef 1.2 kg
1/4 cup Oil 50 mL
2 Large garlic, minced 2
1/2 lb Fresh button mushrooms 250 g
10 Small onions 10
8 Carrots, quartered 8
4 stalks Celery cut in large pieces 4 stalks
1/3 cup Flour 75 mL
1 tsp Salt 5 mL
1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper 2 mL

2-1/2 cups Beef stock 600 mL
2/3 cup Red wine 150 mL
2 tbsp Tomato paste 25 mL
2 tbsp Tarragon vinegar 25 mL
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 25 mL
2 Bay leaves 2

1/2 cup Unsalted butter 125 mL
3 Large garlic, minced 3
1 inch thick Sliced french bread 2-1/2 cm thick
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 15 mL

Preheat oven 300°F [150°C].

In large skillet, heat oil and saute garlic, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables to bowl.

Trim and cut meat into one inch [2-1/2 cm] cubes. In plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Working with a few pieces at a time, shake meat cubes in flour mixture, then brown in remaining oil in skillet. Transfer meat to a large casserole dish.

SAUCE Add any remaining flour from plastic bag to skillet and cook, stirring, until brown. Gradually stir in stock and scraping up brown bits from bottom, bring to boil; stir in wine, tomato paste, vinegar, worchestershire and bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Pour hot sauce over meat. Cover tightly and bake for 2 hours. Stir in Vegetables and continue cooking until meat is very tender. At this point (If not serving immediately), cool and refrigerate, or freeze. Thaw completely before continuing.Beef dish actually improves in flavor when reheated.

PIQUANT CRUST Melt butter in large skillet over low heat; stir in garlic. Spread bread slices with mustard and arrange in garlic butter; heat slowly, turning slices over until butter is absorbed. Arrange bread on top of beef bourguignon and bake, uncovered in 350 °F [180°C] oven for about 30 minutes or until stew is bubbly and crust is golden.

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