But first, pie!
Ok, now that’s out of my system, we can move on.
I’ll say it straight up, this is not a weeknight get-it-on-the-table meal. Definitely a Sunday dinner. But the amount of rich, fulfilling, meaty, complex flavor built into this dish is worth every last second you spend preparing it. It helps to have all your ingredients prepped and standing by before you get started, so you can really enjoy each step of the process, and appreciate where all that flavor is coming from as you build it up.
The party begins with salt pork lardons, lightly browned to release their fat in a large pot, then the meat is added to brown on all sides. Make sure the chuck roast chunks are dry, or they won’t brown for you.
The onions and carrots are browned a bit in the same pan, then the meat and lardons are added back in, flour stirred in, and the pot actually goes into the oven for a few minutes to develop a crust on the beef, before the wine, beef broth, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf are added, and the whole beautiful combination goes back into the oven for about 2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender but not falling apart.
The Brown-Braised Onions and Sauteed Mushrooms are easily made while the beef is simmering in the oven. You then add them to the meat (after straining out the sauce into a saucepan to reduce a bit), cover the whole thing with the (incredibly remarkably full-flavored) sauce, and keep warm until ready to serve.
I cooked from Mastering The Art of French Cooking tonight, but The Way To Cook also has a recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon; it’s a little different in ingredients and method, so the result will not be exactly like this one. Julia prepared this dish for an episode of The French Chef, and she followed MTAoFC pretty closely. I heartily recommend taking the time to make this truly outstanding dish.
See you tomorrow, for the next installment of #CookForJulia.