The French know a thing or two about a thing or two. Particularly when those things pertain to culinary matters. Perhaps it is their liberal use of wine, their devotion to butter and cream, or the utilization of the fresh aromatic herbs that grow in abundance in the countryside? Their food is known to be flavorful and robust, and their desserts are both sinful and divine at the same time.
This evening at chez nous we enjoyed a hearty beef bourguignon. I really do enjoy making this Gallic version of beef stew because whenever I cook French food I get really into it. I pour myself some wine, and bust out the Edith Piaf. After sampling the dish I say silly things like "ahhh formidable!" and "Zut alors! c'est magnifique!" Thank God for highschool french, right?
My beef bourguignon would probably be scoffed at by a frenchman/woman or any boeuf bourguignon purist, because I omit the bacon, and I don't always use Burgundy (I usually use whatever I have on hand). Despite all that, I still think it's tasty, and even if it wasn't- you couldn't stop me from making it. I really have too much fun pretending to be a french chef.
In a large pot cook 1 lb. boneless beef cut into cubes in 2 tbsp. veg. oil until meat is browned. Add 1 large chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook until onion is translucent. Stir in 1 1/2 c. dry red wine, 1 c. broth, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. marjoram, salt, pepper, and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for approx. 45 mins. Then add 3 c. whole mushrooms, 2 handfuls baby carrots, and a jar of pearl onions. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and cook again until veges are tender. Discard bay leaves. Combine 1/4 c. cold water and 2 tbsp. flour; stir into the stew. Cook and stir until thickened.