Boeuf Bourguignon takes some time and effort to make, but it’s well worth the endeavor. The good news is that it’s even better when cooked a day or two in advance. Let cool to room temperature and then store covered in the fridge. When cool, excess fat will rise to the top. Skim it off before reheating on the stovetop. Serve Boeuf Bourguignon with simply cooked potatoes or egg noodles and chase with a green salad.
Dry the beef cubes well with paper towels.
Set a large Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-proof lidded pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook, stirring from time to time, until browned. Remove bacon from pot, leaving fat in pot. In batches to avoid crowding, add beef cubes and brown well on all sides. Remove beef from pot and pour off (or spoon out) all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of fat. Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third.
Add onions and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring from time to time, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, one minute more. Stir in tomato paste. Add beef and bacon back to pot. Pour in wine and enough beef broth to cover meat by about half an inch. Stir in thyme, bay leaves and salt. Cover pot with lid and place in oven. Cook for about two hours, until meat is very tender.
While stew cooks, set a frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned.
When meat is very tender, carefully place pot on stovetop over medium heat. Add mushrooms and pearl onions. In a small bowl, mash together the butter and flour with a fork to form a paste. Stir paste into stew. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve immediately or bring to room temperature before refrigerating.
Remove thyme stems and bay leaves and stir in parsley just before serving.