Saturday, February 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Boeuf Bourguignon

Cooking these days is coming down to either popping a roast or something of the sort into the oven (often unseasoned) and whipping up some quick potatoes/rice and veggies to match, or throwing often repetitive recipes into the slow cooker.  That is, when it isn't pulling hot dogs out of the freezer. Bleck.  

I've been getting a little sick of our standard slow cooker fare, so as our freezer stock started getting a bit low, I poked around for a few new recipes that I hoped the kids might, at least, eat in part.  It turns out that that didn't happen, but Jérôme and I both enjoyed this boeuf bourguignon.  In fact, boeuf bourguignon is one of Jérôme's favourite French dishes and he gave this recipe the thumbs up.

I usually keep half opened bottles of wine in the basement, to use in recipes such as this.  Now, I can hear you all gasping.  How is it possible that we ever have a bottle left unfinished?  Especially with a French husband???  

Well, it goes a little something like this.  Back in the days before we had children, we often ended up with half empty bottles that we then stored in the basement for cooking.  Now that we have little monkeys screaming all of the time, what happens is more that we open the bottle and drink so much that we feel guilty and then redeem ourselves by using the last cup in a recipe like this one here.  And by we, I just might mean me ;) 

Slow Cooker Boeuf Bourguignon

120g chunk of bacon or salt pork belly, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used pancetta that I had bought at Costco)
1 lb. mushrooms, whole or halved
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C all-purpose flour (I used a gluten-free flour blend)
1/2 C condensed beef broth (undiluted)
2 C dry red wine
1 bay leaf
zest of 1 orange
chopped parsley      

1.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add bacon or salt pork and cook until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.  Drain off all but 2 tbsp. fat in pan.


 2.  Add beef to pan, in batches, and brown.  Transfer to slow cooker, using a slotted spoon.


3.  Add mushrooms to pan and cook until tops are lightly browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  

4.  Add carrots and onions to pan.  Cover and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.  Increase heat to medium.  Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  

5.  Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add beef broth and wine and cook, stirring, until thickened.  Stir in bacon or salt pork, bay leaf and orange zest.

6.  Add mixture to slow cooker stoneware.  Stir to thoroughly combine ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is very tender.  Discard bay leaf.  Just before serving, garnish liberally with parsley.

Serves 8.

Difficulty level: moderate

Taken from 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes.

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