I was trying to pickup groceries last-minute so I could get home in time to watch the Oscars this evening, one of the two award shows I watch each year (the Tony Awards being the other.) I wanted to make something quick and easy so as not to miss any part of the show and YET….it snowed today. Not a lot and only for about 30 minutes, which means the snow stuck to the trees and grass, but not the roads. But the few days it snows here in the Pacific Northwest, conjures up so many thoughts; a roaring fire, curling up on the sofa, and that anticipation of great cooking smells permeating the kitchen and family room. So in the spirit of the Oscars, the contenders were Rack of Lamb, Beef Burgundy, Prime Rib, or Chicken Cacciatore. And the winner is…..Beef Burgundy. And oh yes, looks like Meryl Streep just won – congratulations Meryl!!
1.5 pounds of beef chuck
3 cups Pinot Noir or any good red wine
1 small bag of fresh Pearl Onions
1 onion, diced
14 medium size mushrooms
2 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves of garlic – diced, not mashed
1/4 pound Pancetta
2 Tbl Tomato Paste
1 Tbl butter
2 cups beef stock
- Cut the pancetta into small cubes and sauté in a heavy pan (I use a Le Creuset Round French Oven) over medium heat using olive oil in the bottom of the pan and sauté until browned.
- While the pancetta cooks, clean and quarter the mushrooms, and peel the pearl onions.
- Cut the beef into cubes and brown them in a frying pan with olive oil. Once browned add them back in the French Oven with the pancetta.
- Saute the diced onion till transparent before adding the mushrooms, garlic, and pearl onions. Then add the tomato paste. And add all this mixture to the beef that is in the French Oven.
- Add 2 cups of red wine, 2 cups of beef stock, thyme, parsley, and 1 large pat of butter.
- Cover the pot and put in a 325 oven for one hour. After one hour take out the stew and add the last cup of red wine and back into the oven for 20 minutes.
While the Beef Burgundy is cooking you start making the dumplings. You could make these from scratch (get a recipe from any cookbook) but I prefer the quick method of using Bisquick.
- Mix together two cups Bisquick, 2/3 cup milk, 2 Tbl parsley and 2 Tbl chives.
- Mix till well blended and forms a doughy ball. Remove Beef Burgundy after the 20 minutes and drop the dumplings using a large tablespoon onto the beef and put back in the oven for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Once done, put the cover back on and cook another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and gingerly remove the dumplings to a plate and set aside. Using the pan you browned the meat in, start a roux by using 2 tablespoons of butter along with 2 heaping tablespoons of flour and mix together over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of beef stock and mix quickly with a wire whisk. Take 1/2 cup of the Beef juices from the French Oven and add to the roux. Let this thicken and come to a quick boil and immediately take off the stove and add back into the stew and mix well. Plate the Beef Burgundy and add a dumpling or two to each plate. Voila!