This recipe is mostly based on the ingredients from Martha‘s adapted version of Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon and preparation is loosely adapted from A year of Slow Cooking’s Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon. I made most of this a day ahead to let the flavors develop.
What you need:
Big package of chopped up stewing beef (gulash rind auf deutch)
15 medium onions cut into boats (pearl onions are preferred)
4 garlic cloves, smashed to bits
10 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
half a bottle of yummy red wine
2-3 cups of beef broth
salt and pepper
Herbes de Provence
lots of mushrooms in boats
Warm up the crock pot on the highest setting while you are browning the ingredients.
Fry bacon to season your skillet and dump into slow cooker. Julia tip: Remember to pat the beef dry with a paper towel before placing in the skillet! Brown a small amount of beef in a skillet with some butter. Don’t crowd the meat, let it get nice and brown on two sides and then transfer to the slow cooker. The last batch of meat that you brown add two tablespoons of flour and stir to pick up the juices and fat.
Soften the carrots and onions alternately in the skillet with a little butter and transfer to cooker when they get a nice color. Add garlic and spices to the cooker. Take your time and don’t try to do everything at once. When the last batch is done, warm up your broth in the skillet and pick up the yummy browning residue from your pan. Pour wine in at the last-minute to warm it up – do not cook. Pour the brothy, winey goodness into your slow cooker and put the lid on.
I listened to a podcast from This American Life while slicing and browning so I guess that would give you about an hour of prep time.
Turn down to medium and let it simmer a few hours. I let the stoneware insert cool and put it in the refrigerator overnight since we had dinner guests coming the next day.
At least five hours before serving get the cooker going again. I put mine on high and had to leave it there until serving time but you know your slow cooker better than I do so use your noggin. Then I browned the mushrooms Julia tip: use a dry skillet and DON’T CROWD THE MUSHROOMS! Let them brown with plenty space around them, when they start to release moisture add some sea salt and stir around and separate again. This should take about 2 hours – no, just kidding. It takes a little longer than my old way but a huge improvement on flavor.
Add the browned mushrooms to the slow cooker as each batch is finished, and after the last batch use a little more beef broth to pick up the good stuff from the skillet and pour into the slow cooker, give a stir and put the lid on until serving.
I served with boiled potatoes and salad and they even wanted seconds so I am declaring this a success even though my nice winter cold is preventing me from experiencing any of these flavors I did appreciate the tender consistency of the meat.