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BEEF BOURGUIGNON

Serves: Serves 6-8 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 3 hours

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

170g bacon, roughly chopped

1 ½ kg beef brisket, trimmed of fat (chuck steak or stewing beef) cut into 2-inch chunks

1 large carrot sliced ½ inch thick

1 large white onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)

1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons flour

12 small pearl onions (optional)

500ml red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or a Chianti

700ml beef stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 beef bullion cube, crushed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)

2 bay leaves

450g small white or brown mushrooms, quartered

2 tablespoons butter

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Sauté the bacon over medium heat for about 3 mins, until crisp and browned. Transfer to a large dish and set aside.
Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon. In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 mins), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat (leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan) and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with ½ tsp coarse salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 mins to brown.
Add the pearl onions, wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bullion and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Cover, transfer to lower part of the oven and simmer for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender.
Heat the butter in a medium-sized pan. Add the remaining garlic and cook til fragrant, then add in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Once browned, set aside.
Place a colander over a large pot (I do this in my clean kitchen sink). Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully empty its contents into the colander (you want to collect the sauce only). Discard the herbs. Return the beef mixture back into the pot. Add the mushrooms over the meat.
Remove any fat off the sauce( if any) and simmer for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency.
Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. If you are serving immediately, simmer the beef bourguignon for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

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