The French created beef bourguignon to turn tough beef into a delicious dish. Aaron Barnett upgrades it with short ribs.
5 pounds trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
9 carrots—5 cut into 2-inch pieces, 4 cut into 1-inch rounds
5 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 medium onions, quartered
10 garlic cloves
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups beef stock
1 pound meaty slab bacon—half cut into 1/4-inch-thick lardons, half cut
into 2-inch pieces
3 bay leaves tied with 15 thyme sprigs
2 pounds stemmed button mushrooms
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
In a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag, add the beef, 2-inch carrot pieces, celery, onions, garlic and red wine and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300°. Strain the beef and vegetables over a bowl; reserve the wine. Separate the meat from the vegetables. Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. In batches, sear the meat over high heat until browned on all sides, 30 minutes; transfer the meat to a bowl as you go.
Reduce the heat to moderate, add the marinated vegetables and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add the reserved wine, stock, large bacon pieces, herb bundle and meat along with any juices; bring to a simmer.
Braise the stew in the oven for 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and bacon to a bowl. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids.
Wipe out the casserole. Add the lardons and crisp over moderately high heat, 10 minutes; transfer to paper towels. Working in batches, add the mushrooms to the casserole and cook until golden, 8 minutes per batch. Add the mushrooms to the meat.
Add the carrot rounds and braising liquid to the pot and simmer until the liquid is reduced by one-third. Add the meat, bacon, lardons and mushrooms; simmer until the sauce reduces slightly. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Refrigerate overnight.
Skim the fat from the stew and reheat. Garnish with parsley and serve.