This is life, imitating art.
Copycat is a better word for it.
I made Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon recipe to the letter (except that I used frozen pearl onions instead of peeling and boiling fresh ones....shhh).
It came out PERFECT and DELICIOUS.
Ina's recipe is easier (though much more expensive!) than a traditional French beef Bourguignon, because she uses a 3 lb. beef tenderloin (filet mignon), which cooks much faster than chuck.
This recipe makes enough for 4-6 people, so save this recipe for company if you like.
Another nice thing about this is that you can make it the day before, put it into the fridge in the pan it was cooked in, and gently reheat it.
It was better on day 2, if it could get any better!
Filet of Beef Bourguignon (original recipe from Barefoot Contessa's first book):
1 (3-pound) filet of beef, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning plus 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 pound bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups good dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Chianti (I used a Cab)
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled
8 to 10 carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick (domestic or wild)
Cut the filet crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.
Season with kosher salt and pepper on both sides. In a very large, heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat, sauté the slices of beef in batches with 3 tablespoons of olive oil until browned on the outside and very rare inside, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the filets from the pan and set aside on a platter.
In the same pan, sauté the bacon on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all the fat, except 2 tablespoons, from the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
STRAIN THE SAUCE (important step) and return it to the pan. Add the onions and carrots and simmer uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes (Ina calls for 20 minutes, but the carrots were not cooked enough so I increased the time), until the sauce is reduced and the vegetables are cooked.
With a fork mash 2 tablespoons butter and the flour into a paste and whisk it gently into the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken.
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil for about 8 minutes until browned and tender.
Add the filet of beef slices, the mushrooms and the bacon to the pan with the vegetables and sauce. Cover and reheat gently for 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Season to taste and serve immediately. (If making ahead, cool, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat until heated through, about 15 minutes).