I like to think of my version of this Bourguignon or Burgundy as an expansion to the culinary French cuisine that seems to be fit for a King or Queen. Since I prefer to use elk meat in place of beef, I also prefer to use combination of liquids including red wine, beef broth and brandy which adds a subtle hint of sweetness to an already rich and full-bodied dish.
Serve this Elk Burgundy to family and friends over mashed potatoes or all on its own with sliced French bread. Garnish with a few chopped green onions.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
- 2 to 2½ pounds elk backstrap, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 slices thick bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups red wine—ideally Cabernet—or 1 cup brandy
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup pearl onions, skin removed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat a heavy pot over medium-high heat (I use a 7-quart enameled Dutch Oven) and cook bacon until lightly browned. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Leave bacon drippings in the pot. Sear cubed elk meat in bacon drippings until browned on all sides. Do this in batches and try not to crowd the pan. Remove meat and set aside.
Add chopped onion and garlic, then sauté until translucent. Add meat back to Dutch oven with onions. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir to coat. Place in oven uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir meat and continue to bake for 5 more minutes. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Add bacon, beef stock, brandy, red wine and tomato paste over meat mixture and gently combine ingredients. Add the thyme sprig and cover with a lid. Place pot in oven and bake for 2½ – 3 hours.
An hour before the dish is complete, melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms until browned. Add mushrooms and pearl onions to meat mixture and continue to bake in oven for remaining time or until the meat is tender. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper if needed.
You can make this dish using a slow-cooker as well. Follow the procedures for searing using a cast-iron skillet. When it comes time to place the pot in the oven for 3 hours, simply use a slow-cooker and set on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.
Garnish with chopped green onions.