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They are telling us on the news that most of the country is experiencing unseasonably warm weather right now, but here in the Pacific NW, it is dark, wet, windy, and cold. So even though it’s technically early Spring, we decided that it was excellent beef stew weather! We always get a lot of inspiration for recipes and cooking from the Comfy Belly blog, so we started with her recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon, but made a variation. We wanted to make a roast rather than to use stew meat, we wanted to use a crock pot and not deal with roasting the veggies, and we couldn’t find pearl onions. Ours was definitely less traditional, but it turned out delicious nonetheless.

Double D Beef Roast Bourguignon*

  • 2.5-3.5 lb beef roast (we like chuck for it’s nice marbling and good flavor)
  • 5-6 rashers bacon, cut into small (1/2″?) pieces. (I like the uncured bacon from Organic Valley. It contains no illegal ingredients!)
  • 1 yellow onion, medium-coarse dice
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ thick ‘discs’
  • 1 lb mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 2-3 medium carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tblsp tomato paste (Elaine says tomato paste isn’t legal, but I feel ok about using it as long as it’s organic and contains no ingredients other than tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a heavy, nonreactive skillet, brown the bacon bits. Remove from skillet and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
  2. Salt and pepper the roast to taste. Over medium heat, brown the roast on all sides in the bacon fat, about 3 minutes per side. Place into crock pot and cover.
  3. Still using the same bacon fat and skillet, take the discs of fennel and brown them, 1 minute or less per side. The discs may not remain intact…. that’s fine. When they are done cooking, arrange them in the crock pot around the roast.
  4. Add the raw carrots and mushrooms to the crock pot.
  5. Add the onions to the skillet and caramelize well.
  6. When the onions are fully caramelized, stir in the garlic, then the tomato paste.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium high, then pour in the red wine and beef stock, gently scraping all the bits of goodness off the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the reserved bacon bits. When the mixture comes to a boil, pour into the crock pot.
  8. Leave the crock pot on low for about 5-6 hours, or until roast is fork tender. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper, if necessary. Skim off any fat that you feel is excessive, and either serve, or portion out and refrigerate.

This technique might not have yielded quite the complexity of flavor that roasting the veggies would have, but it used only 2 dishes and was a bit easier. My goal here was not to make a traditional Bourguignon, mind you, but to make a rustic, French-style stew/roast thingy. It worked, and it was delicious!!! I’m eating it for lunch every day this week!

*Double D = Damion and Diana