Jen Hatmaker's Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz. bacon, diced
  • 2-1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into one-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into one-inch chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (like a Pinot Noir)
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add bacon and cook over medium heat about ten minutes, stirring a bit until it is brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large plate (but leave the bacon grease in the pot). Dry the beef cubes with a paper towel and give them a hefty douse of salt and pepper. In single layer batches, sear the beef cubes on all four sides in the bacon grease (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the cubes to the plate with the bacon and keep this up until all of the beef is browned.
  2. Into the juice and drippings, toss in the carrots, onions, a tablespoon of salt, and two teaspoons of pepper. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Put the meat and bacon back in the pot. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and slide in the oven for about two hours until the meat and vegetables are fork-tender.
  3. Back on the stove top, combine two tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork. Stir the product into the stew (this will thicken it and add creaminess). Saute the mushrooms in two more tablespoons of butter until lightly browned, and add to the stew. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes. Season to taste.
Serve with thick slices of bread or over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Add a glass of rich, spicy Cabernet and a fire in the fireplace. You can make this the day before and heat to serve.

From the kitchen of Jen Hatmaker

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