When my daughter was young, we were obsessed with the movie. We bought the two volume book to see if we could channel our inner Julia Childs. Beuf Bourguignon was the first, (and last recipe) we made. (We have very fleeting obsessions). We never called this recipe anything but BOOF! One word, pronounced just like Julia would in a high pitched enthusiastic voice. ‘What are you doing Mom’?….”Making BOOF !”.
We spent at least fifty bucks on ingredients and toiled all day. In the end, it was a whole lot of work but a whole lot of fun! When I dug out the cookbook for this post and opened it up to the recipe, I found a note that she wrote. Put a big smile on this Mom’s face! Needless to say this recipe invokes wonderful memories. There is nothing like cooking with your kids to create meaningful time together.
My daughter is all grown up and married now, and a wonderful cook in her own right. Someday she will have kiddos of her own and hopefully make some wonderful BOOF memories of her own!
There are a couple things that will help make this one of the best and easiest slow cooker recipes you will ever make.
- Sear the beef before tossing in the slow cooker. Usually this is a hassle but let me make it a whole lot easier and less messy for you. MY TRICK: Toss the beef chunks in olive oil and then toss in the flour. Add to a DRY pan. Do not add oil to the pan. You will get an amazing sear on the beef and no splatter!
- Use good red wine. If you have a bottle left over from your party two months ago, and wouldn’t drink it. Don’t ruin your perfect stew with it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle, there are plenty of good Cabs, Pinot’s and Merlots out there for 10 bucks. (I used Merlot because thats what was in the wine rack…well besides a whole lota Chardy :).
- Buy small whole potatoes, rather than cutting large ones. These hold up amazingly well under the sweltering heat of your slow cooker.
- Be patient. This doesn’t come together until the last hour. If you taste it early and it tastes too much like wine…don’t panic! Put the lid on, walk away and wait. I promise you wonderful things are about to happen.
I used Julia’s recipe with some modifications. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I looked at Sue’s recipe from The View of Great Island more than once. She did a great job taking this recipe from the oven to the slow cooker and her site is one of my favorites!
- 2 1/12 pounds cubed chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms - quartered
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4-5 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme or a handful of fresh
- 1 12 oz bag frozen pearl onions
- 2 cups carrots - peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 1½ pounds small red or white potatoes, left whole
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups good red wine - cab, merlot, pinot noir all work well.
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Adjust seasoning after cooked
- Toss beef with olive oil and then flour.
- Heat large skillet on medium high heat. Do not put oil in the pan.
- Add coated beef to skillet turning after a few minutes until all beef is nicely brown. (you may have to do this in two batches).
- Add seared beef to slow cooker.
- Add mushrooms, garlic and butter to hot skillet and sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes scraping up any beef bits left in the pan.
- Add mushroom mixture to slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker: Frozen onions,thyme, carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, worcestershire, wine and beef stock.
- Give a good stir. Put the lid on. Set on low for 5-6 hours.
- Taste for seasoning when done. Add more salt? pepper?
- If you want it thicker, mix two tablespoons flour with a half cup beef stock. Add to hot stew.
- We like it served with a dollop of sour cream and a hunk of french bread.