I kind of followed Julia Child's recipe, but mine is not so complicated. I also cut way down on the amount of cognac that I used, since the hubby is not to fond of that spirit. Let me say upfront that it is ABSOLUTELY NOT necessary to use tenderloin in this recipe. As a matter of fact, the original calls for beef sirloin or chuck ("stew"). Since this is a slow cooking meal, there is plenty of time for the meat to tenderize as it cooks. Don't leave out the tiny, pearl onions, even though they are a little pricey -- they make the dish special.
We like this over buttered egg noodles with a little fresh parsley, but growing up, my mom always served it over rice. I've even seen it served over mashed potatoes or simply as a stew, with lots of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Whatever your family prefers, that's the right way to make it!
3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. beef, cubed into bite size chunks
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 heaping T. tomato paste
12 oz. fresh mushrooms, some halved, some sliced (white, baby portobellos or a mixture of both)
1 can beef consomme' + 1/2 can water
1 cup hearty red wine such as cab. sauv.
1/4 c. + 2 - 3 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
2 -3 dashes worcestershire sauce
3 T. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
2 oz. good cognac (more if you love it!)
12 - 16 tiny pearl onions, frozen or from jar (not pickled!)
12 oz. cooked, buttered egg noodles with 2 T. fresh parsley
In a large, deep frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. While your bacon is frying, dry your beef cubes off a little, by placing them on a paper towel or two. This will aid in the browing process. Remove the bacon to a paper towel, and all but 2 T. of the bacon fat. Add the beef cubes to the hot bacon fat. Stir them around, so that they brown on all sides. When they look nice and brown, turn the heat down a little and add the onions, garlic and carrot. Stir in the worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. When the onions begin to brown and soften, add the 1/4 c. of flour. Mix this into the meat/veggie mixture until ALL the flour is absorbed. If there is still fat/liquid in the pan, add a little more flour, 1 spoonful at a time. When the flour is incorporated, add the consomme', water,wine, tomato paste and mushrooms. Turn the heat up a little bit, bring the mixture to a boil and add the pearl onions, bay leaf, cognac and thyme.
At this point, you may put the mixture in your crock pot and cook it on low for at least 5 hours OR put it into an oven proof casserole and cook on 300 degrees for at least 3 hours. I like the crock pot way the best!