Beef Bourguignon, Michy’s Way
2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (freeze the bacon for 10 minutes before cutting to make it easier)
2 pounds beef chunk, cut into 1 to 1½-inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging the meat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced small
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups dry good quality red wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
1.5-2 cups beef broth, as needed
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup pearl onions
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cups mixed mushrooms, cut into small wedges or sliced thin (use your favorite blend)
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, finely chopped
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, whisked
butcher’s twine for tiring the herbs
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot (like a Dutch Oven) over medium heat. Render the bacon until golden brown. While the bacon cooks, dry your beef well with paper towels. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Dust with a light coating of flour. Add the olive oil to the pan and raise the heat. Working in batches, sear the beef on all sides until golden brown, removing the beef as it browns. Add the onions, leeks, carrots and garlic, saute for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the beef back into the pan. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, allowing the wine to reduce almost all of the way down. Add the Cognac. Add enough beef broth to almost cover the beef. Add the bay leaf and star anise to the pan. Tie the rosemary and thyme sprig together with butcher’s twine and add the herbs into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and cook on a low simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 ½-3 hours. Check the pot periodically and add a little more stock if needed. The broth should cover the meat at least ¾ of the way up.
While the meat cooks, cook the mushrooms and onions. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the onions are golden brown all over. Add the sugar about halfway through cooking to help the onions caramelize. Remove the onions and set aside. Add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the mushrooms until they release their moisture.
Once the beef is tender, add the cooked onions and mushrooms to the pan. Stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a puff pastry crust on top.
To prepare the puff pastry:
Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the puff pastry out a little. Cut the puff pastry into a circle about 1-inch larger than your Dutch Oven. Transfer the pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Prick the pastry several time with a fork, generously brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
When done, place the pastry on top of the Beef Bourguignon.