Saturday Cooking

Saturday is when I tend to do my big cooking.  By big, I mean recipes that take more time than I have on a weeknight.  Monday through Friday, recipes are of the quick and easy variety.  Sunday usually involves a little more time.  But Saturday, Saturday is when I hunker down and spend an entire day cooking.  Sometimes, I’m focused on just one recipe.  Other times, there are multiple dishes going.

What kinds of things am I likely to be cooking on a Saturday?  Slow roasted beef, short ribs, roast chicken, and oven pulled pork have all come out of my kitchen on a Saturday.  Most recently, I dug into the pile of recipes I haven’t made in a while for Cooking Light’s Beef Bourguignon.

This was one of the first recipes I was successful with when I decided to stop eating from cans and boxes.  It was a huge confidence builder to create a “fancy” meal from my apartment kitchen.  And then, I don’t know why, but I filed it away as a special occasion recipe.

I don’t know about you, but with the exception of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, I don’t have a ton of special occasions on my calendar.  So what sense is there in holding on to a recipe that you don’t make?  I find that I have to remind myself that it makes absolutely zero sense.  So Beef Bourguignon and I got reacquainted.  And we turned an ordinary Saturday into a special occasion.

Beef Bourguignon

Adapted from Cooking Light

BAH Tip: Although pre-cut stew meat is convenient, it’s not always the best value.  I bought a boneless chuck roast and cut it down myself.  It’s a little messier and a little more work to remove the fat and connective tissue, but I made the beef cubes as big as I wanted and saved a few bucks at the store.

  • 2 1/4 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped and divided
  • all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 8 cups mushrooms, halved (about 1 1 /2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Cook half of the bacon in a dutch oven over medium high heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a medium sized bowl.  Add half of the cubed beef to the pan with the bacon drippings, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until well browned on all sides.  Remove the browned beef from the pan, add it to the bowl with the cooked bacon, and cover to keep warm.

Repeat the process with the remaining bacon and beef cubes, sprinkling two to three teaspoons of flour over the second batch of beef after it is added to the pan.  Remove beef from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Add chopped onion and carrot slices to the pan and cook for approximately 7 minutes until the onion just starts to brown.  Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes more.  Stir in the red wine and beef broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add bacon, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Uncover and cook 1 hour or until beef is tender.

If your juices have not cooked down, carefully remove beef and vegetables with a slotted spoon, place in a large bowl, and cover to keep warm.  Increase heat to high and cook until the juices reduce.  Taste for seasoning and add one to two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, if desired.  Return beef and vegetables to the pan and serve.

{Printable Recipe}

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