a Recipe for deliciousness

Holiday pics. MMMMMMMM...that was a tasty beefy treat.  The beef burgundy I made went over well.  We served it with some sauteed broccoli and mashed potatoes.  Perfect.  I also made some epis (white and sesame) at work on christmas eve.  It is basically a baguette that has been cut down the spine and fanned out in opposite directions.  Excellent for dipping into the burgundy sauce.  There was so much good food that my head almost exploded.  We spent christmas evening at nance's for delicious pork roast.  The last reitz girl made a leek and mushroom galette that was magically delicious.  Where are the pics???  well, let's just say that it was all so good that it was gone before I thought to snag a photo.
Other newsworthy news:  Wife bought me an espresso machine for christmas!!!  SNAP!  francis! francis! X3.  now I just have to figure out how to use it.  Very cool, very sleek design.  I also scored a lot of other kitch goods such as a mandoline (sorry, fingertips), new crock pot,  pie dish, and new stick blender (mine was on the frizz).  Basically, I am ready to rock and roll.  I just have to clean the house first...after an espresso, it'll go way faster.
DISH recommends:
Beef Burgundy.  My brother liked this dish so much that he requested the recipe.  scroll down for the holy grail of beef stews.
Basic green veg saute.  My standby veggie method.  never fails.
Beef Bourguignonne (burgundy).  serves 4, but I usually make a giant batch.  I do this in 2-3 days, it tastes better and it's not so much work that way so chill...
hardware: dutch oven/wooden spoon/skillet/cheesecloth/kitchen twine/tongs
(spice rub)
1 Tbs dried Thyme
1 tsp kosher salt/sea salt
rounded tsp blk pepper
(bouquet garni)
1/2 outer green stalk of celery with leaves
3 sprigs of italian parsley (fresh parsley)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
the rest
about 2 lb of chuck roast
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots (peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces, cut on the diagonal)
3 slices bacon 
1 tbs olive oil (or veg oil works too)
1-2 cups beef stock. (about 1 can)
12 oz. red wine. I like to use pinot noir here, or even bordeaux. but on this particular dish I used pinot noir.  I know, it's not burgundy, but still...
12 pearl onions
about 12 mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
for the roux
2tbs butter
2 tbs all purpose flour
Stage 1
here's your do: mix the ingredients for the herb rub together and set aside.  cut a decent sized square of cheese cloth (big enough to fit all the ingredients for the bouquet garni) and lay it out on your workspace. put the celery w/ leaves, parsley, fresh thyme, and bay leaf onto it and make a bundle.  tie the top together with the twine. (if you do not have any twine, you can always cut a thin piece of the cheesecloth, and get it wet, then tie it around the bundle.  this is what I usually have to do because wife has used my twine for some crafty purpose.) set aside.

Trim the roast of any ridiculously fatty parts, but remember to leave a bit on, for flavor and moistyness. cut into 2 inch chunks. season the meat liberally with the herb rub, let sit for about 30 minutes.
cut your veggies (onions-small dice, carrots) and set aside.  cut the bacon into thin strips. 
fry the bacon (in your dutch oven, on medium low, do not burn it!) in a little oil until brown and the fat has rendered. remove and drain on paper towels, saving about 2tbs of the fat (save the rest for later).  now, brown the beef on all sides, in batches, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan, we want to use those tasties, soon.
as soon as your beef is done,  place in a bowl and then add your reserved bacon fat, or a little olive oil back to the pan and saute your onions and garlic until lightly brown (3-5 minutes)  scraping up the beefy bits from the bottom of the pan.  add your carrots and wine and stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze the beefy goodness.  add your bouquet garni and let the pan come to room temp.  refrigerate overnight, or even for a day or two.
Stage 2
if you are going to finish the dish today, then you need to defat your sauce now, if you are going to do the full 3 days, do it before the final heating.  the fat will have settled and hardened on the top.  simply scrape it off and discard. heat the oven to 350F.  The liquid in your pan needs to come about 3/4 of the way to the top of the meat mixture.  if it does not, just add more beef stock and wine.  put the mixture into the oven for about 1.5 hours for a small batch and 2 or more for a large. if not done, keep checking every 25 minutes. Because i make a fairly large portion, I have to put this all in a big roasting pan and cover with foil.  it usually takes at least 3 hours.  you want the meat to be fork tender.  let cool.  
Stage 3
using a slotted spoon or colander, separate your meat and veg from your sauce. make the roux with equal parts butter and flour, in a pan big enough to accommodate your sauce.  when the roux has darkened slightly and the flour taste is gone, add your sauce and heat until a thin gravy is achieved.  Don't use too much roux, you want this to be like a traditional gravy, it will thicken some as you combine everything back together. pour gravy back into dish with meat. set aside.
Blanch the pearl onions (with the skin on) in boiling water for 4 minutes, then place into cold water.  as soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and root end and place in a bowl.  Brown your pearl onions and mushrooms in butter and olive oil, until the mushrooms give up their juices and are golden brown.  combine with the rest of the dish.  and heat the final dish thoroughly.  Adjust the seasonings, it usually will need a bit more salt and peps, but do it to your liking.  Serve with mashed potatoes, or rice, or over egg noodles.

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