I’m never going to be a full-blown meat lover and I will always choose carbs over protein, but GOOD meat has grown on me in recent years. Herein lies the challenge of marrying the need and want for healthy food with the deliciousness of the things that taste SO DANG GOOD.
Things that come to mind include carnitas (pork shoulder), bacon (duh), BBQ (you name it, but brisket for sure), and most recently…ribs.
I didn’t grow up eating ribs and it’s not a food I’ve been exposed to much in my 33 years. Our neighbor grills (smokes?) ribs 1-2x/year and it is an EVENT. He’s very passionate about his BBQ ribs and we’ve been here for 6 ½ years…and I’m still waiting for my invite to try them 😉 I guess I need to be a bit more neighborly!
Mark and I went out on Friday and went to our favorite local “winter spot”. It’s a place known for the seafood and as seafood lovers, that has always been our entrée of choice. However, we ordered off the bar menu this time and I ordered…ribs. Mark did a double take.
It’s not only ribs that I’ve warmed up to, but I went outside my culinary comfort zone to a classic meal that is a product of patience and top-notch ingredients: Beef Bourguignon. I’ve made something similar (Beef Burgundy) in the slow cooker, but this gem used my most favorite Le Creuset Dutch oven.
I did a bit of research and decided to go all out, swapping brisket for the stew beef. I trimmed it up really well and let the braising do the magic. A whole bottle of Malbec, mushrooms and onions galore, and the most tender beef make this a holiday-worthy treat that will warm your soul. A 5-star meal, for sure!
- 8 oz pancetta, diced
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4¼ lbs brisket, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (yield ~3-3¼ lbs raw)
- 1 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 5 sprigs of thyme, tied
- 3 bay leafs
- 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 30 cipollini onions (I used frozen pearl onions)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add pancetta; stir occasionally, until rendered and browned. Remove pancetta using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add beef cubes to rendered pancetta fat and brown on all sides. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and once hot, sauté the sliced onion until golden in color. Add the diced shallot and crushed garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- With a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Next, add the browned pancetta and beef back to the Dutch oven, sprinkle with flour and stir, cooking for several minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to mix in.
- Pour the red wine and beef stock in mixing thoroughly. Place the bay leaves and tied thyme bundle in the pot and stir. Cover and place in oven to bake for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, add the mushrooms and pearl/cipollini onions to the pot and stir to mix in. Cover and continue to bake for 2½ more hours.
- Before serving, remove the thyme stems and stir. Serve over mashed potatoes or as is.
Weekly Menu: December 9th – 13th
- Sunday: leftover Sesame Chicken, brown rice, and steamed broccoli
- Monday: Chicken Caesar Salad with a Twist
- Tuesday: Sausage and Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Wednesday: leftovers / hosting Book Club (apps, drinks, dessert)
- Thursday: Penne with Mushrooms and Turkey Sausage from Williams Sonoma Weeknight Fast and Fresh