This evening’s dinner recipe was inspired by Julia Child, the renowned chef who introduced French cuisine to the American public, best known for her debut cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
People who love to eat are always the best people.Julia Child (Image: Source)
In this case, Mr. Chuckles and I are two of the best people you’ll ever meet!
Adapted from tbsp.
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 minutes | Ready time: 6 hours
- 6 slices bacon, cut into lardons (thin strips ¼ inch thick)
- 3½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1 large white onion, sliced
- 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups red wine, like a chianti
- 2½ to 3½ cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves smashed garlic
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 crumbled bay leaf
- 18 to 24 small pearl onions
- 3½ tablespoons butter
- 1 herb bouquet (4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf)
- 1 pound fresh white mushrooms, quartered
1) Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2) Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large Dutch oven, sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3) Dry the beef with a few paper towels for better browning. In batches, sear the beef on all sides in the Dutch oven. Set aside with the bacon.
4) Back in the pot, add the sliced carrots and onions. Sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. If there’s any excess fat, drain it now.
5) Add the bacon and beef back to the pot. Season with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper. Toss. Sprinkle with flour and toss once more. Place in the centre of the oven for 4 minutes.
6) Remove pot from oven. Toss beef and place back in the oven for 4 more minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F.
7) Add wine and stock to the pot. The liquid should barely cover the meat and vegetables. Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme. Bring to a light simmer on the stove, then cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pierced.
8) In the last hour of cooking, bring 1½ tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to a medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they’ve browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in ½ cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated, and the onions are tender.
9) Remove the onions and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining butter and oil and bring to a medium heat.
10) Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to coat with the butter.
11) Place a colander over a large pot. Drain the beef stew through the colander and into the pot. Place the pot with the sauce over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming any fat on top. Pour the beef and vegetables back into the Dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot. Pour the sauce over the beef mix and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
12) Serve over mashed potatoes. Sprinkle minced parsley on top as garnish.
👨🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles
It’s far from the most photogenic dish but this one turned out really well in terms of taste, meeting Mr. Chuckles’ tough standards. I agree that it was delicious and delectable. The key to this recipe is to take your time and make sure you cook for long enough, so that the beef turns out rich and tender. For a quicker version, check out this alternative recipe.
I wrote about our love of the Dutch oven in my post about pot roast. Here’s another plug for it. We use the more economical Ikea SENIOR but Le Creuset is the classic brand endorsed by Julia Child herself.