--Larousse GastronomiqueBOURGUIGNONNE, A LA The French name for several dishes cooked with red wine (poached eggs, meat, fish, and sauteed chicken), the most famous of which is boeuf bourguignon. They are usually garnished with small onions, button mushrooms, and pieces of fat bacon.
Basically, it is a beef stew, only more French and more delicious with stuff like bacon and red wine. It's sort of like a beef version of coq au vin. Traditionally, the sauce is thickened with flour or beurre manié. I did not want to use flour, so I chose something else: powdered porcini mushrooms. Ever see how much liquid those suckers absorb when you rehydrate them? Well, instead of soaking, I put my dehydrated porcinis in my spice grinder and blitzed them to a fine powder. I also kept the cooking liquid to a minimum, particularly given that moisture does not evaporate when cooking in a crock pot. As a result, I had a nicely-textured gravy that held up even when spooned over mashed cauliflower.
SLOW-COOKER BOEUF BOURGUIGNON
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 lbs beef stew meat (I used top round, trimmed and cut into large cubes)
- 1-2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- Half an onion, sliced OR 1 cup frozen pearl onions (I used the former, as my husband hates pearl onions)
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1/2 oz (weight) dried porcini mushrooms, ground up in a spice grinder or food processor or mortar and pestle
- 8 oz (weight) sliced mushrooms (any kind will do, I used crimini)
- Salt and pepper
- Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Pour off excess fat, leaving only about a teaspoon in the skillet. Add the beef cubes and sear over high heat until the outside is brown. Remove the beef and deglaze the skillet with 1/4 cup water. Add the deglazed skillet juices, beef, and bacon to your slow cooker along with the carrot, onion, and garlic.
- Stir together the wine, broth, Worcestershire, powdered porcinis, and marjoram. Pour the liquid over everything in the slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Before serving, saute the mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil until browned. Stir them into the beef mixture and serve over mashed cauliflower.