Boeuf Bourguignon is one of those classic French dishes that is easy to prepare, sticks to your ribs and will dazzle your guests.
Total Prep: about 3 hours, serves 6
2, 9-lb. paleron of beef, or chicken steak or same amount of shoulder or neck, cut into 1-1/2- inch pieces
1 garlic clove
1 bouquet garni
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup red Burgundy
6 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
A little chopped flat parsley
Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot
Large spoon or ladle
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
In the Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat in batches -- not all at once! -- and sear on all sides until it is well- browned (not gray). You dump too much meat in the pot at the same time and you'll overcrowd it; cool the thing down and you won't get good color.
Sear the meat a little at a time, removing it and setting it aside as it finishes. When all the meat is a nice, dark brown color and has been set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-high until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over them. Continue to cook about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then, add the red wine. Naturally, you want to scrape up all that really good fond from the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon. Bring the wine to a boil.
Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni. Add just enough water (and 2 big spoons of demi glace, if you have it) so that the liquid covers the meat by one-third -- meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat. This is a stew, so you want plenty of liquid, even after it cooks down and reduces. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let it cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender (break-apart-with-a-fork tender). You should pay attention to the dish, meaning check it every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the meat is not sticking or, God forbid, scorching. You should also skim off any foam or scum or oil collecting on the surface, using a large spoon or ladle. When done, remove and discard the bouquet garni, add the chopped parsley to the pot and serve.