Crockpot Boeuf Bourguignon
It had been a week of reheating Indian curries from our freezer when I'd had enough. The house no longer smelled of home, of onions and of bacon. Instead our oven was out of commission and the aroma fresh-cut plywood replaced the perfume of winter cooking. The hot plate and slow cooker mocked me, knowing there was another humble pot of pork and beans in their future.
But not this time. I pulled out our trusty Julia and went to work adapting her Boeuf Bourguignon for the crockpot. Hours later, Todd walked in the door to find it smelled like home again.
Crockpot Boeuf Bourguignon (adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
4 strips thick bacon, cut into small chunks
1 T olive oil
3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T Wondra
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 c full-bodied red wine (I used a Chianti)
2 - 3 c vegetable stock (I bought low sodium organic vegetable broth because I couldn't make my own)
1 T tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 bag noodles, cooked al dente
Let me say first of all that I have made this Boeuf Bourguignon the 'correct' way and know that my shortcuts won't produce the superior results that oven-braising does. However, given the circumstances, we got several wonderful meals of this using the crockpot, and I'd do it again this way if I was short on time.
- Brown the bacon until all the fat is rendered. Remove from the skillet and drain most of the bacon grease. Place the rendered bacon into the crockpot.
- Add the olive oil to the pan and return it to the heat.
- Toss the beef with the salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, making sure to work in batches so you don't crowd the meat. As the meat browns, place it in the crockpot and continue with the remaining meat until all of it is browned.
- Sprinkle the Wondra over the beef and toss to coat it.
- In the same skillet you browned the meat, add the sliced carrots and onions and brown lightly. When they are lightly browned, add them to the crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except for the noodles) to the crockpot and turn the temperature to high.
- Allow the mixture to cook slowly for 6 - 7 hours (stirring occasionally), or until the flavors have combined and the vegetables are completely soft. There will be a good amount of liquid in the pot.
- Just before serving, add the noodles to the pot and let them warm up completely.
- Adjust salt and pepper as necessary.