Spend a wonderful evening with a few French classics and some wine to go with dinner! By the way, my bourguignon has been included in Joan Schwartz’s charming book, deceptively innocent, called Meat and Potatoes. My secret ingredient here is crème de cassis, the wonderful black currant liqueur (there are very nice Passover substitutes, berry liqueurs)
This dish reheats very well and improves with age, so go ahead and make it a day or even two ahead.
- 4 pounds beef or bison shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes for stew
- 6 cups water
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups dry red wine
- ¼ cup crème de cassis (liquor stores; Passover: use a nice berry liqueur)
- 2 large tomatoes, diced small
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (or throw the sprigs in whole, but don’t forget to
discard them at the end of cooking)
- 2 pounds very thin long carrots, peeled (about 20)
- 20 very small organic potatoes, scrubbed (only organic potatoes are safe with
- 2 dozen tiny onions, peeled and left whole (frozen OK: they are already peeled)
On a stove top: Place beef, water, and oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the garlic, wine, cassis, tomatoes, pepper, and bay leaves and cook 30 more minutes. Add thyme, carrots, potatoes, and onions and cook 30 more minutes.The meat should be fork-tender. Transfer meat and all vegetables on platter with a slotted spoon. If the liquid left in the pot is too thin, reduce it on a high flame until it is thickened, the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the reduced liquid over the whole dish and serve hot. Will make 8 to 10 servings.
With a Crock-Pot: Layer all the ingredients except the water (no water) in a 6-quart Crock-Pot, in the order they were given. Set the Crock-Pot on low in the morning. It will be ready for dinner (10 to 12 hours total cooking time).