Not just one, but TWO missed Thursday dinner features? What am I doing to you people! I’m a terrible friend I know. I have still been cooking, still been documenting, but my work life has been such lately that I’ve been going to bed or sitting dumbly on the couch shortly after arriving home. So, today will have to be the “Friday” dinner feature. I promise though…it will melt your knees straight into your toes.
This comes from my Gooseberry Patch Slow-Cooker Recipes cookbook, although I can tell you right now that even though it stays in the crock pot for 8 to 10 hours, you’re going to need at least an hour or two to get it prepped in the morning. This is a great Saturday or Sunday adventure…definitely not a weeknight adventure. For sure.
This recipe is a crock pot version of Julia Child’s infamous Boeuf Bourguignon that Scott has been begging me to make since seeing the movie Julie & Julia. And woah nelly. Just. Woah. Wait till you try it, you’ll understand, but first read the recipe and you’ll get a glimmer.
Company Beef Bourguignon
3lbs boneless beef round steak, cubed (Julia Child recommends 2-inch cubes…mine were more like 1-inch)
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved
1 onion, sliced
1 cup baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
10-1/2oz can beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
16-oz pkg sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp oil
15-oz jar pearl onions, drained
1/2 cup Burgundy wine or beef broth (I used Marsala, for better or for worse)
Brown beef cubes in reserved bacon drippings; place in a slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, salt and pepper to skillet; stir in flour. Add broth and tomato paste; mix well and pour over beef. Sprinkle bacon, garlic and herbs over beef. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. One hour before serving, saute mushrooms in oil; add to slow cooker along with pearl onions and wine or broth. Discard bay leaf. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
In case the magnitude of the “wooahhh nelly” of this recipe didn’t sink in to you, let’s break it down.
Exhibit A: HUGE hunk’o’beef. I finally made this recipe because our grocery store had all beef round 50% off….which was certainly good enough for me!
Cube it up.
Hello, bacon. Have I told you lately that I love you?
Crisp it up.
Alright, hold onto your socks, here’s where it gets greasy good. See all that liquid, that you’re browning the meat in? That would be bacon grease.
Julia Child recommended browning it in small batches, which worked out well since you have to rotate each piece a bit to get all sides browned. My little pattern was to get one batch going, then flip it, move it to the other side of the pan, then start the next batch, which produced beautiful beefy-multicolored pan.
For the whole pattern, I had a little system set up like this. I was putting the beef straight into the crock pot, and since it was a bit drippy, I just covered my burner/stovetop with wax paper to make for easy clean-up later. You don’t exactly want bacon/beef grease dripping onto your burners. Hmm.
I also didn’t crumble my bacon, because I was feeling lazy. Oh well.
So you finish up the beef. And believe it or not, there’s still more bacon grease left. But we can’t let it go to waste! So let’s saute the veggies in it. (Don’t deny it, your toes just curled a little.) This is right after adding the flour.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but by this point, the broth has thickened up quite nicely. Make sure you don’t cook your veggies to death, since this will be in the crock pot all day.
The whole ensemble in the crock pot, with the grease of six pieces of bacon, and, oh wait, six pieces of bacon. (Drool.)
I never pass up an opportunity to photograph sauteeing mushrooms. Yum.
Because I’ve been a loser the past few days, I may or may not have forgotten to photograph the final steps and the finished product the day we ate it. However, this is the next day when I ate leftovers. And truth: TEN TIMES better the next day. Whew.
A firm, resounding WOAH NELLY. If you need comfort food, this is pretty much the definition. And despite the prep time in the morning, clean-up was actually pretty easy.
A few tips:
- Keep in mind your ingredients. Beef…bacon…broth…wine… We won’t go into too much detail, but I highly recommend taking some Pepto or some such thing before eating. For everyone’s safety.
- The pearl onions were an awesome touch, but for me, way too strong after only cooking for an hour. Scott and Christian liked them, but I couldn’t eat them until the next day. I daresay I’d add them at the beginning of the cook time, or halfway through.
- This recipe just screams for a nice little loaf of bread to sop up the juices. Too good to go to waste!
- And if it wasn’t obvious enough, if you’re on a diet, stay FAR far away from this recipe. Yowsa.