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Recipe of the Week: Beef and Mushroom Bourguignonne


PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

A classic French stew made for a modern kitchen. Do not let this recipe intimidate you; overcome your fear by making it ahead and even freezing it. Serve bourguignonne to your guests and it is guaranteed to steal the show at your next dinner party. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Most stew meat is cut from chuck; avoid using tender cuts like tenderloin or top round.)

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

1 head garlic, cloves separated and lightly crushed (unpeeled)

10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, halved, plus 3 tablespoons chopped for garnish

6 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorn

1 pound thick bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

3 pounds lean beef stew, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 cups de-fatted beef stock

1 bottle (750-ml) dry red wine, preferably burgundy

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup frozen pearl onions

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon sugar

10 ounces large white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

Cut two 12-by-22-inch pieces of cheesecloth; lay them on a work surface, overlapping each other to form a cross. Pile the onion, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and peppercorns in the center. Gather the ends together and tie the top with kitchen twine. Place in an eight-quart Dutch oven, set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon, and saute until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to Dutch oven, leaving fat in skillet. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Working in batches, arrange beef in skillet in a single layer; cook until browned on all sides. Transfer beef to Dutch oven.

Whisk the flour into fat in the skillet. Slowly whisk in wine, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Pour mixture into Dutch oven around cheesecloth bundle. Add stock and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover; place in the oven. Cook until beef is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.