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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Boeuf Bourguignon

This classic recipe from Burgundy is easier than it looks. Once everything is browned, it goes into the oven and needs no further attention until dinner time. It's good with cooked noodles. A second bottle or two of wine to drink at the table is a must.

5 pounds chuck beef, cut into large cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup cognac, warmed
1/2 pound bacon, diced
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
3 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bottle Burgundy wine
5 tablespoons butter
36 whole small onions
Dash of sugar
36 mushroom caps
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Roll the beef cubes in flour, and brown them on all sides in a skillet over high heat in the olive oil.

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper; pour the cognac over it, and ignite. When the flame dies, transfer meat to a 3-quart casserole. Add a little water to the skillet, and deglaze over high heat, scraping up the brown particles clinging to the pan. Pour over the meat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To the skillet, add the bacon, garlic, carrots, leeks, chopped onions and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp and the vegetables are light brown. Transfer to the casserole with the meat and add the bay leaf, thyme, Burgundy and enough water barely to cover the meat. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare a beurre manie by blending 1 tablespoon each butter and flour, and stir into the casserole bit by bit. Return the casserole to the oven and continue cooking 2 to 3 hours longer.

Brown the small onions in 2 tablespoons butter with a dash of sugar. Add a little water, cover, and cook until the onions are almost tender.

Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter until light brown on one side. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn to brown the other side.

To serve, add the onions to the casserole, and garnish with the mushrooms and additional chopped parsley. Makes 10 servings.

"New York Times Cookbook,"
Revised Edition, by Craig Claiborne

Sunday, November 12, 2000

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