Make this a day ahead and reheat before serving. The flavor actually improves overnight! The Burgundy provides a deep, rich color to the gravy.
1 pound small white onions, peeled (see Note), or 1 pound frozen baby onions, thawed
6 slices bacon, diced
4 pounds boneless beef chuck,cut into 1½-inch cubes
¼ cup brandy
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups Burgundy wine
2 cloves garlic, bruised and peeled
1 pound small mushrooms
2 sprigs fresh parsley, plus chopped parsley for garnish
Leafy top from 1 celery stalk
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup cold water
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium, nonstick heavy skillet, brown the onions and bacon over medium heat and set aside. Add the beef chunks to the skillet, a few at a time, and brown on all sides, transferring them to a bowl as they are done.
When all the meat is browned, return the meat to the skillet.In a small saucepan, warm the brandy over low heat until warm to the touch. Ignite the brandy with a match and pour over the meat. Stir gently until the flame goes out.
Put the beef, bacon, and onions into a deep 3-quartcasserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour about 1/2 cup of the Burgundy into the skillet; bring to a boil, stirring constantly to scrape up the browned bits of meat. Pour over the meat in the casserole. Add the remaining Burgundy, the garlic, mushrooms, parsley sprigs, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and thyme to the meat mixture. Bake, tightly covered, for 2 hours, or until the beef is very tender.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef, bacon, mushrooms, and onion to a large bowl. Strain the cooking liquid into skillet and discard the solids. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half. In a small bowl, blend the cornstarch and water and whisk into the hot cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat until thickened, whisking constantly. Return the meat, mushrooms, and onions to the casserole. Pour the thickened cooking liquid over the beef mixture. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.To peel small onions, trim them and cut an Xin the bottom of each one. Drop them into boiling water for 1 minute. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off the skins.
Note: To peel small onions, trim them and cut an Xin the bottom of each one. Drop them into boiling water for 1 minute. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip off the skins.