Dinner

Date Night: France

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Beuof Bourgignon
Adapted from Bonne Femme

1 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Olive oil or vegetable oil, if needed
4-5 shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cups Beaujolais Villages, red Burgundy, or Pinot Noir
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth, plus more if needed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup pearl onions
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, left whole if small, quartered or halved if larger
1 large carrot, sliced thick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the bacon until crisp in a large ovenproof Dutch oven, heavy enameled pot, or braiser over medium heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Brown beef in batches in the hot drippings over medium-high heat about 5 to 7 minutes per batch, turning as necessary to brown evenly. Drain off all but about 1 teaspoon of fat.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return meat to pot; add the cooked bacon, wine, beef broth, thyme, and bay leaf; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot. Cover and bake until the meat is very tender, about 1 hour.

Add carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms. Bake another hour.

Let cool and refriderate overnight. You do not have to do this but the flavor really develops and tastes better the next day.

Remove and discard bay leaf. Pour juices and solids into a large measuring cup and skim fat. You want 1 cup of pan liquid total (including the bacon, onions, and garlic in the liquid). If you have more, boil the liquid in the pot over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup. If you have less, add additional beef broth to make 1 cup. Return to the pot and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, work the butter and the flour together with your fingers to make a paste. Add bit by bit to the cooking liquid, stirring with a wire whisk to blend in any lumps. Cook and stir until the sauce boils and thickens; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Return beef to the pot, add cooked mushrooms and onions; heat through. Serve in shallow bowls with the rice.

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