The doyenne of French cuisine, the incomparable Julia Child introduced this beloved French beef stew and it has become a true epic beef dish, recreated all over the world.  Like its sister dish is coq-au-vin, both dishes derive from the Burgundy region in France and are slowly simmered in a red wine sauce with pearl onions and sliced mushrooms with a touch of cognac.

1 Lb of beef chuck – fat trimmed and chopped into medium chunks

2 strips of Applewood smoked bacon – coarsely chopped

2 TBSP cornstarch

2 TBSP of cognac

1 medium onion – chopped

3 carrots – scrapped and cut into 1” rounds

2 TBSP tomato paste

1 cup of beef broth

2-3 garlic cloves – minced

½ bottle of Pino Noir – or any full-bodied red like Côte du Rhone

1 TBSP butter

½ package of frozen pearl onions

½ LB of white mushrooms – sliced not too thin

1 pouch of bouquet garni – (1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of thyme, bunch of parsley stems)

2 TBP of unsalted soft butter



Make the bouquet garni, placing the contents in a cheesecloth and tie them with some kitchen twine. Set aside

In a Dutch oven heat up 1 TBSP of olive oil and brown the bacon.  With a slotted spoon set aside onto a plate.

Dry the beef chunks and season with salt and pepper.  Drain some of the fat and sear the pieces so they are evenly browned.  Do this in batches so they brown well.  Set on the same plate as the bacon.

Add the carrot, onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for about 3-4 minutes so they obtain some color and flavor.  Add the cognac and carefully ignite to burn off the alcohol.  Add the bacon and chuck back to the pot with their juices.  Add the tomato paste, wine and the beef broth, the bouquet garni, and some salt. Ensure the beef is covered completely with liquid, but don’t drown it.  Bring to a simmer and place the Dutch oven inside the oven covered with the lid and cook for about 2½ hours.

Mix the softened butter and the flour together with a fork to make a roux.

Take the pot out of the oven and place it back on the stove.  Add the onions (defrosted) into the pot and blend with the stew.

In a medium skillet, add some butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms for about 10-12 minutes till they have obtained some color and their juices have evaporated.  Add the mushrooms to the pot and bring to a simmer, cooking it for another 5-6 minutes.

Serve with crusty baguette to mop up the sauce.

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