Jan 16, 2013 6:46 PM

Mushroom bourguignon

Somehow the chill of winter calls us to seek comfort in the foods we choose. Forget that there might still be Christmas cookies on the kitchen counter, we are shivery and cold and want an edible warm blanket in a bowl. That is a percription for Beef Bourguignon, and of course no one did it better than Julia Child.

But who has time to slow coax rich flavors from humble ingredients. Amy Adams proved it was no easy task in the movie Julie & Julia. But the brilliant wed food writer aka @Smitten Kitchen offers up her take on something delicious, warm, comforting and flavorful. It will also help keep your New Year's resolutions on track.

Julia Child would be very proud of my friend Deb Perelman's riff on classic Beef Bourguignon that can be made on any weeknight after work. Best of all, a big rich red wine will pair perfectly with this. Grab a Fork & a spoon!

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 4

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 pounds 1/4-inch sliced portobello or cremini mushrooms
• 1 cup pearl onions (thawed if frozen)
• 1/2 carrot, finely diced
• 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
• Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup full-bodied red wine
• 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional, but use vegetable to make it vegetarian; the dish works with either)
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• Egg noodles, for serving (buttered potatoes or farro work well too)
• Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms and pearl onions until they begin to take on a little color, but the mushrooms do not yet release any liquid - about three or four minutes. It helps to do this in a few batches. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
2. Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
3. Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms and pearl onions with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender.
4. Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
5. To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles, dollop with sour cream and sprinkle with chives or parsley (optional).


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