Easy Boeuf Bourguignon

I know how to make a proper stew, mmkay?

I know about flouring and browning the meat. I am well aware of a bouquet garni. And yes, I can even whip egg whites stiff to make a raft that attracts the impurities and leave the broth crystal clear.

But just because I know how to use a paintbrush, does that mean that I have to paint the Sistine chapel every day?

This is the other kind of stew. The “I have a million things to do at work and I have to pick up the kids at school and I have to get a haircut because my hair looks like Harry Potter’s broom and when the hell will I have time to make dinner” stew.

It’s the one that I make the most often.

Hello, slow cooker!

Easy Beef Bourguignon

beef stew

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs stew meat

1 package mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1 bunch clery, chopped

1/2 bunch carrots, chopped or sliced on the mandolin

1 large onin, sliced into quarters

3 garlic cloves, peeled and whoel or smashed

1.5 cups red wine

2 cups unslted beef broth

3 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

A few sprigs each rosemary and thyme, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 glug balsamic vinegar

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1. Put all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir once then set it to high and leave it for 6-8 hours.

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It is done when the meat falls apart at the merest touch of the spoon. Taste for seasonings and skim the fat off the top (or cool it overnight and take off the fat easily, as seen here).

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2. Serve with boiled potatoes, crusty bread, or buttered egg noodles.

Yeah, that’s it. It’s just the ticket when it’s cold and miserable outside and you want to eat something hearty but not fatty or salty – homemade is always best, after all. This is so wonderful. The stew meat is cheap but it tastes as fine as any pricey cut when it breaks down and becomes juicy and rich. The sauce is minerally and savory, with some sweetness from the tomato paste and toothsome mushrooms rounding out the stew. The onions absolutely fall apart in the most wonderful way, and the carrots totally melt when they touch your tongue. The rosemary and thyme are earthy and that glug of balsamic is – If I do say so myself – totally inspired. It adds a sweet-sour, intense aspect to the otherwise earthy stew. Serve it with mashed potatoes or egg noodles or – if you are lucky enough! – in bread bowls.

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And don’t worry.

You can make that from-scratch Turducken tomorrow.