by Ally Phillips
3 tbl. extra virgin olive oil + more for serving
6 slices bacon, fried, crumbled, drippings reserved
3 to 3 ½ lbs. Aussie grassfed beef, ribeye, cut into 2-3" cubes
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
½ cup cognac
5 cups beef broth
1 tube (7 oz.) concentrated tomato paste
2 cups robust red wine
2 tbl. garlic paste or finely minced + 3 peeled cloves, divided
2 tbl. fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
1 tbl. fresh tarragon, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1/4 cup sifted flour, all purpose
2 cups sweet onions, Vidalia, medium dice
2 bunches petite whole carrots, multi-colored with some of the stems
3 cups mushrooms, chantrelle, shitake and hen-of-the-wood
1 loaf artisan deli bread, slice in about 1 ½” thick slices
Fresh flat parsley
Fresh chives with flowers
Finishing sea salt
In a large cast iron Dutch oven over medium high heat, put the olive oil and bacon. Fry bacon then remove with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium. Salt and pepper the beef cubes. Put about half of the beef cubes in the drippings and brown. Do not crowd the beef. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef. Turn heat to medium high and slowly add the cognac letting it sizzle and deglaze the skillet. Add 2 cups of the beef broth, wine, half of the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, tarragon, red chili flakes and whisk together cooking about 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and sift in a few tablespoons of the flour whisking the entire time. This will thicken the mixture. Turn heat to medium low. Add the browned beef cubes, cover and cook about 20 minutes. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook another about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile slice the artisan bread into about 1 ½” to 2” slices. Put on a grill to toast and get grill marks. Rub with fresh garlic. Drizzle with a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Serve beef bourguignon on toast with fresh parsley and chives and finishing sea salt.
Beautifully served over fluffy jasmine rice or garlic mashed potatoes. Any leftovers make a perfect beef veggie soup starter.