Beef Burgundy

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Phase 1 Ingredients

For the cheesecloth bundle:
10 sprigs of fresh parsley, torn into quarters
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions, chopped coarse
2 medium carrots, chopped course
1 medium garlic head, cloves seperated and crush but not peeled
2 bay leaves, crumbled
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
6 strips of bacon cut into ½” pieces
4-4¼ pounds beef chuck roast. Well trimmed: pull apart at seams, trim all fat and silver skin. Cut into large chunks, 1½ to 2 inches.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
cup all-purpose flour
cups low-sodium chicken broth
cups water
1 bottle (750ml) wine, red Burgundy or Pinot Noir, reserve ¼ cup of wine for final step of recipe. (Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, $10-12 at Meijer)
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Phase 2 Ingredients

36 frozen pearl onions (about half of a one pound package)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
10 ounces white mushrooms, whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Phase 1

  1. Cut two cheesecloth pieces about 24 inches square. Use a mixing bowl and lay the cheesecloth in it, one piece on top of the other, to make a double layered bundle. Prepare all of the ingredients listed for the bundle above and put them in the bowl inside the cheescloth. Tie the bundle closed with twine. Place bundle in an 8 quart nonreative Dutch oven.
  2. Prep the rest of the Phase 1 ingredients and have at the ready.
  3. Season beef with salt and pepper while the bacon is cooking in the next step.
  4. Saute bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until well browned and sufficient bacon grease has been rendered from the bacon to use in the browning of the beef, about 6 tablespoons (or more.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the Dutch oven. Pour off half the bacon grease and reserve.
  5. Raise the heat to medium high and add one half of the beef to the skillet in a single layer. Brown beef, turning once or twice, until deep brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer browned beef to Dutch oven. Add ½ cup water to skillet, return to heat, and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden scraper. When pan bottom is clean, pour the liquid into the Dutch oven.
  6. Add the reserved bacon grease to the skillet and return to the heat. When grease begins to smoke, add the remaining beef to the skillet and brown as before. Transfer beef to Dutch oven, add ½ cup of water to skillet and clean bottom as before, dumping liquid into Dutch oven.
  7. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and return skillet to heat. Add the 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once butter has melted and the foaming has subsided, slowly wisk in the 1/3 cup of flour. Flour should become evenly moistened into a paste by the butter. Cook, wisking constantly, until the paste has a toasty aroma and resembles light-colored peanut butter. Gradually whisk in the 1¾ cups chicken broth and 1½ cups water. Bring to simmer, stirring frequently until liquid thickens to about the consistency of heavy cream. Pour this mixture into the Dutch oven.
  9. Add the entire bottle of wine to the Dutch oven (less the ¼ cup that was reserved for final step of recipe.) Add the teaspoon of tomato paste. Place the Dutch oven on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Cover Dutch oven and place in oven. Cook until meat is tender, 2½ to 3 hours.
 45 minutes prep time, 1 hour cooking time, 3 hours in the oven

Phase 2

  1. Prepare mushrooms while Dutch oven is still in the oven. Have the other Phase 2 ingredients ready at hand. Combine the brandy and the reserved wine, they will be added to the pot together at the end.
  2. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and, using tongs, lift the cheesecloth bundle into a strainer. Press out all of the liquid, back into the Dutch oven. Discard the bundle.
  3. Remove the meat from the Dutch oven, to a bowl, using a slotted spoon.
  4. Allow sauce to rest for 15 minutes, then skim the accumulated fat from the top of the sauce and discard.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer briskly, stirring regularly to ensure sauce is not burning. Reduce sauce until it is the consistency of heavy cream, to about 3 cups of liquid.
  6. While sauce is reducing, bring pearl onions, butter, sugar, half the salt (¼ teaspoon) and ½ cup of water to boil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer, shaking pan occasionally, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  7. Uncover, increase heat to high and simmer until all of the water evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the salt (¼ teaspoon) and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and the vegetables are browned and glazed, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetable to a plate and set aside.
  9. Add ¼ cup of water to the bottom of the skillet and use a wooden scraper to clean the bottom of the skillet. When clean, add the resulting liquid to the reducing sauce.
  10. When sauce has reduced to approximately 3 cups and is the consistency of heavy cream, add back the beef, the vegetables (and any juices), the reserved wine and the brandy. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes.
  11. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve, sprinkling with chopped parsley leaves.
 45 minutes cooking time

Preparing in advance

  1. Follow recipe through Phase 1. After removing the Dutch oven from the oven, do step 2 of Phase 2 - remove and squeeze out the cheesecloth bundle. Allow the contents of the Dutch oven to cool and then cover and refrigerate. Can be refrigerated up to two days.
  2. After removing the Dutch oven from the refrigerator, skim off the layer of fat that will have accumulated. Set the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. While warming, prep the ingredients for Phase 2. Once the pot is simmering, continue from step 3 of Phase 2 - removing the meat with a slotted spoon ...




Cook's Illustrated