A TRADITIONAL WINTER STEW
Prepared in the classic style, as an homage to Julia Child, this rendition of Boeuf Bourguignon is faithful to her recipe, save for the addition of pearl onions. I have never been a fan of them and will omit them. You can, of course, sauté them along with the mushrooms at the end of the roasting process to maximize flavor. A dish like this is traditionally paired with a red Burgundy—our 2014 Freedom Hill “Founder’s Collection” Pinot Noir is not just a substitute, it’s an absolutely gorgeous pairing.
*Because the 2014 Freedom Hill Founder’s Collection Pinot Noir is limited to club members, the perfect alternative is our 2018 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir.
21/2-3 pounds beef chuck or sirloin, patted dry and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup flour, for dredging
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 ounces pancetta
1 sweet onion finely diced onion
1 large carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 750 ml bottle of dry red wine
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish, if desired
3 quart Dutch oven
Preheat the oven to 350° and place a rack at the center of the oven.
While the oven is heating, place the flour, salt, and pepper on a large plate and mix it together. Add the cubed beef and toss, until the beef is evenly coated. Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven, and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Sauté the beef in batches, until it is lightly browned, for 4-6 minutes. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard the remaining flour mixture.
Lower the heat to medium and cook the pancetta until the fat is rendered, and pancetta is lightly browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve the fat.
Stir in the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent and the celery and carrot have softened. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for an additional minute or two, until fragrant. Add the beef and the pancetta back into the pot and stir. Pour the wine over the top, then add the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Cover the pot and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 to-2 hours. Remove the dutch oven and let it rest.
If you’re going to add pearl onions, heat 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, then add the pearl onions, bring them to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and cook them uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain any of the remaining water from the onions.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the butter, mushrooms, and pearl onions, along with a pinch of salt. Cook them, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are golden brown, around 5-7 minutes. Spoon the mushrooms and pearl onions over the top of the stew. Garnish with parsley, and serve piping hot with a glass of Freedom Hill Pinot Noir. A hunk of crusty bread is great too, for sopping up the gravy.