Boeuf or beef, maybe even rundvlees

I have a beautiful, black French oven.  (she was also featured/pictured in the New Years post)  I used to think she was Dutch, but Le Creuset calls her French.  She lives in a quiet, occasionally used cabinet under my orange microwave.  Every once in a while she comes out so that we can slowly cook something comforting together.  Her favorite dish to cook is boeuf bourguignon (now I understand it’s because she’s French).  She loves blending all the colours and flavors together into a magnificent meal.  What we love about this recipe is ignoring all the measurement instructions from books and just trusting our senses to let it all come together (really my senses, not the pots); the results are always delicious.  Sometimes the tomato is highlighted, other times the sweetness of the wine comes out, or the pepper adds the slightest bit of heat and the salt makes the beef melt in your mouth.

For the sake of the post I will put some approximate measurements, but please try to let loose, I promise it’s worth it.

Boeuf Bourguignon
What you’ll need:
Olive oil, S&P
1 can of button mushrooms (I’ve never seen these fresh, but I imagine they don’t grow in a can) OR a pint of white mushrooms
3 lbs. beef stewing cubes OR rump, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. gf flour or corn starch (mixed into a little water)
3 c. red wine
2 c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf (I’m still not sure what flavor this adds, but it’s in all the recipes I’ve looked up)
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 bag of pearl onions, peeled OR 1 large onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high in heavy pot or French / Dutch oven. Brown mushrooms.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Season beef with salt and pepper.  In batches, brown beef, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, adding a bit of oil as needed, transfer to plate.  Cook the bacon over medium heat, once brown add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add flour and mix.  Return beef to pot; add wine, broth, bay leaf, and garlic.  Bring to a boil.
Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Add carrots and onions and cook until meat is very tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more, add mushrooms 15 minutes before end of cooking.  Serve with rice or quinoa or potatoes.  Enjoy!

Boeuf Bourguignon with wild rice

P.S.  “Rundvlees” is the word for ‘beef’ in Dutch

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