Beef Bourguignon with Polenta

Beef bourguignon recipes are typically intimidating and time consuming. This one is no exception though it’s worth the investment for a special occasion. It’s great for a dinner party because it’s best when made and refrigerated overnight, then reheated. To do this, keep the beef mixture separate from the carrots, onions, and mushrooms. When ready to reheat, stir them in and place in a 325F oven for 30-60 minutes until hot throughout.

Pearl onions can be difficult to find. If you can’t locate fresh ones, substitute frozen or jarred (rinse very well to remove brine). For the mushrooms, I used creminis instead of white buttons and they were quite delicious.

To serve, place beef bourguignon in a shallow bowl and top with polenta and a sprig of rosemary.

Beef Bourguignon

Bourguignon Dinner Table

BEEF BOURGUIGNON

3 lbs beef chuck, cut in 2-inch chunks
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cognac
4 large carrots
1 large yellow onion, cut in chunks
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
750 ml full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef stock
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325F.

Pat meat dry. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in large Dutch-oven or oven-proof pan with lid over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pan in one layer. Brown on all sides. Transfer beef to a bowl. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef.

Coarsely chop 2 carrots. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef with cognac, wine, stock, tomato paste and thyme. (Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes.

Cover and place in oven. Bake until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 – 3 hours. About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2″ slices. Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté pearl onions and mushrooms until light golden brown.

Remove beef from oven. Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Separate beef from the cooked vegetables and discard vegetables (or eat them – they’re delicious!). Boil liquid until reduced by half and thickened to a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add beef, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms to stock. Simmer 15 minutes to heat through.

Recipe from Taste Food

POLENTA

1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
2 Tbsp butter

Bring the liquids to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the salt and cornmeal. Continue to whisk and cook for several minutes, until starting to thicken.

Cover the polenta and continue cooking 30-40 minutes, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes.

Stir in the butter and serve immediately. The polenta will set up once it starts to cool, but can be kept for several hours in a slow cooker set to warm.

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