Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients: Method:
1/2 pound fat salt pork
1 Tbsp butter

(you can substitute diced bacon
but be sure to blanch it for about 10 minutes to remove the smoked flavour)
Cut the salt pork into quarter-inch dice. Blanch it by dropping into a small pan of cold water and bringing the pan to a boil. Drain the pork and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large heavy frying pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter. Add the blanched salt pork, and cook it over high heat, stirring constantly, until it has rendered all its fat and the bits have crisped and turned golden brown.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels.

16-18 small white onions, all
about 1 to 1 1/2 inches around,
peeled and left whole
Reheat the fat left in the pan and add the onions. Let them cook over moderate heat, shaking the pan from time to time so they brown evenly. When they are all more or less browned, transfer the onions to a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, until they can be pierced easily with a pointed knife. Don't overcook; they should retain their shapes.

3 pounds boneless chuck, cut
into 2 inch pieces (no smaller)

While the onions are baking, brown the beef in the same frying pan, with most of the fat poured off and set aside for use as you need it. Don't try to brown more than 4-5 pieces at once; otherwise the heat in the pan drops too much and the meat won't brown at all.
Add more pork fat to the pan as you go, but use as little as possible for the best results.
As each piece becomes a dark crusty brown all over, drop it into a heavy 4-quart casserole pan.

6 shallots, finely minced
1 medium carrot, finely minced
3 Tbsp flour
When the last piece of meat is done, add the chopped shallots and carrots to the fat remaining in the frying pan. Cook them slowly over low heat until they are lightly coloured. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the 3 Tbsp of flour. Mix thoroughly until it forms a paste; if the mixture is too dry or crumbly, stir in a little more fat.
Return the pan to the heat and slowly cook this roux until the flour begins to turn brown. Stir constantly and don't try to cook it too fast or it will burn and give the sauce a bitter taste; but get it as brown as possible without burning.

2 cups red Burgundy wine
1 cup brown beef stock or bouillon
1 Tbsp tomato paste, dissolved in the stock
a bouquet of parsley sprigs, 2 celery tops, and
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
Pour the wine and stock into the frying pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. The sauce will be lumpy at first, but will thicken and smooth out as it heats through. When it is quite smooth, pour it over the meat in the casserole.
The sauce should come almost to the top of the meat, but not above it. If there isn't enough, add a little more wine or stock. Push the herb bouquet below the surface of the liquid, and stir in the minced garlic, thyme and crisp pork bits. Add a scant tsp of salt and a few grindings of pepper.
Cover the casserole and bring it to a boil on the top of the stove. Then, put it in the hot oven and lower the temperature to 325°.
Bake for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the quality of the meat.

3/4 pound mushrooms,
whole if small, or halved
3 Tbsp butter

Saute the mushrooms quickly, until they are lightly browned. Set aside until the meat is cooked.

When the beef is tender, but not pulpy or falling part, add to the casserole the browned onions and mushrooms with their accumulated juices. Mix everything together and simmer slowly until all are heated through.
Serves 6 to 8 from Michael Field's Cooking School, copyright © 1965 by Michael Field, published by M. Barrows and Company, New York