One of my goals for this year is to try one new recipe each week. I have been trying new recipes, but not getting them posted. I’m sorry and hope to get in the swing and do better. Here, I tried a recipe that Abbi posted on Where the Wild Things Are. This recipe intrigued me because I love classic boeuf bourguignon although I don’t make it that often. I think I just forget about it. And who doesn’t love a good crockpot recipe. I also had never cooked with dried porcini mushrooms, so it was something new to try. I was also curious about the use of pancetta and what that would add to the flavors.
I made the mistake of throwing this together on a morning where I was short on time. I was thinking that’s what slow cookers are for: throw everything in a pot, turn it on and leave the house for hours. Not this recipe… most of the ingredients were first cooked in a skillet. It turned out to be quite a bit of work with a lot of chopping, browning, soaking, etc. I prepared this pretty much as written which is unusual for me. Typically I’m altering or substituting when I try a recipe.
This dish turned out delicious, but not quite the deep, rich flavor I am used to with the classic recipe. I gave this three stars because I will probably make it again since I love any kind of beef stew. But it was less flavor and more work than the classic recipe and I look for crockpot cooking to be a little simpler.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
7g dried porcini mushrooms
600g stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm cubes, any fat removed
100g pancetta lardons
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200ml red wine
1/4 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups baby button mushrooms, sliced
1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
Add the dried porcini mushrooms to a quarter cup of boiling water and set aside for half an hour. In the meantime brown the beef in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. If your pan doesn’t fit all the meat you can do it in batches. Add the beef to the slow cooker and drain any fat from the pan. Add the pancetta to the pan and fry until crispy. Add to the slow cooker and drain any fat from the pan. Add the olive oil to the pan and then add the onion, garlic and carrot to the pain with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and cook until it starts to soften, 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid and chop (reserve the soaking liquid) Add the mushrooms and soaking liquid to the onions and carrots along with the wine, stock parsley and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol.
Add the wine mixture to the slow cooker, close the lid and cook on low for 10 hours or until the beef is very tender.
Now cook the sliced button mushrooms in the butter until brown and add to the slow cooker. Mix the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water and stir into the mixture in the slow cooker. Replace the lid, turn the slow cooker to high and give it another 10 – 15 minutes to thicken a bit before serving.
Serve with mashed potatoes.