[ originally posted 9/16/09 -- steph ]
This is an easy copy-cat (or sort of copy-cat) of Julia Child's famous Beef Bourguignon. I cut the butter completely, and simplified the spices, but the flavor is all there.
And, I have STILL not seen the Julie and Julia movie. I was all set to go with a group of friends, but then got another wave of all-day-I don't-know-why-they-call-it-morning-sickness and found myself glued to the couch on our planned night out. And then school started, and soccer started, and PTA started, and life got a bit complicated.
I will see it, though. I promise.
[ updated June 2015: I've seen the movie a BUNCH of times now! ;-) ]
3 pounds beef roast, or beef stew meat (I used a chuck roast I had in the freezer)
6 slices bacon--no need to cook (I used turkey)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced in rings
1 cup carrots (chopped or baby, your choice)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 tablespoon herbs de provence (here's a recipe to make your own)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (not pictured, oops!)
2 cups red wine (you can use non-alcoholic if you wish)
Use a 6 quart slow cooker. In the bottom of your stoneware, smear around the olive oil. Then lay down 3 slices of bacon. Add sliced onion and garlic. Put the meat into the pot on top of the onion and garlic, and sprinkle on dried spices and herbs. Toss the meat to distribute the spices to all sides. Add tomato paste. Lay the other 3 slices of bacon on top of the meat, and throw in the carrots. Pour wine over the whole thing.
Cover and let cook on low for 8-9 hours, high for 4-5, or until meat has reached desired tenderness. If you are using a roast, you may want to flip the meat about an hour before serving so more liquid is absorbed into the meat. You can also cut the meat into chunks and return to the pot, if you would like more moisture to absorb.
Serve with whipped mashed potatoes, and a ladle full of crock juices.
We all really liked this a lot. The kids weren't crazy about the carrots, because they took on the wine flavor and were a bit tart, but Adam and I loved them like that. The meat had lots of flavor, and I was quite pleased with the amount of juice left in the slow cooker---it made an excellent gravy. I didn't try to thicken it up on the stove top with cornstarch or flour, but if you enjoy making gravy, I'd imagine it would be wonderful.
This is a company-worthy meal.