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Beef Bourguignon

  3 lbs. top round, cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes
  3 ounces (3-4 slices) bacon
  1/4 cup flour
  1 14-oz to 16-oz can beef broth
  1 1/2 cup dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
  1 bay leaf
  1 teaspoon thyme
  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1 cup small boiling onions
  2 cups fresh small button mushrooms

    Heat oven to 325-degrees. Cut bacon slices into 1/2-inch strips. In a large skillet, slowly cook bacon bits until crisp. Place drained bacon in the bottom of a 3-quart oven-proof casserole baking dish; retain bacon fat in skillet. Brown top round cubes on all sides in bacon fat; spoon into baking dish on top of bacon.

    Add flour to fat remaining in the skillet; stir over medium high heat until flour is browned. Carefully add broth and red wine to skillet, whisking contents to avoid lumps. Add bay leaf, thyme and pepper, and simmer skillet until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir often. When thickened, pour contents of skillet over meat and bacon. Cover baking dish and bake at 325-degrees until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove dish from oven and stir in onions and button mushrooms: cool.

    Divide contents of casserole into two to four freezer containers. Freeze. To cook after freezing: thaw freezer container in refrigerator overnight. Place contents in oven-safe casserole baking dish. Cover and bake at 325-degrees until meat is really tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Makes 12 servings.

    Contributed by - Leslie P.

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