Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew

I posted about this stew in the wine talk section. Here is an adapted recipe that I used. The original was posted by Regina Schrambling in the NYTimes after 9/11/2001.
It is a beautiful stew and so comforting. I used the mustard whole grain instead of Pommery. I also cut the carrots in full moons and the mushrooms into large quarters. I roasted the mushrooms in the oven on 350F for 20 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil instead of sautéing them. I highly recommend this.

It worked great. Enjoy.

Recipe: Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
Summary: Adapted from Regina Schrambling’s recipe in The New York Times Cookbook.


1/4 pound salt pork or bacon, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or as needed
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac or other brandy
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Pommery or whole-grain mustard
4 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-moons
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1/4 cup dry red wine

Start by rendering the bacon in a Dutch Oven on low heat (I add a splash of vegetable oil to help it along). When it’s crispy and the fat is rendered, remove it from the pan and snack on it while you proceed.
Raise the heat and add the onions and shallots, cooking them until they’re soft but not brown (10 to 15 minutes). Transfer them to a bowl. Even though it’s hard, make sure to get all of the onions out so you can brown the meat well without burning an onion piece.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the Dutch oven and increase the heat to medium-high. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper, dust with flour, and then brown in batches. Make sure you get the pieces brown on all sides–this’ll give great flavor to your stew. Remove the browned beef to the bowl with onions and repeat with the remaining beef.

When all the beef is browned, add the Cognac to the pot (it’ll sizzle and bubble!) to dislodge everything on the bottom. If that amount of Cognac doesn’t do it, add a little more. When the brown bits are worked up, add the beef broth, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard and whisk to blend; then return the meat and onion mixture to the pot. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer gently until the meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add the carrots and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the mushrooms with a pinch of salt until browned and tender.
Stir the mushrooms into the stew, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons Pommery mustard and the red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Quick notes

If you’ve made stews before, feel free to play around here. For example: I used more beef than the recipe called for (I was serving 6), adding more Cognac and beef broth and red wine and mustard based on my instincts. Also: add more butter to the pan as you brown the 2nd and 3rd batches of beef so they have enough fat to give them color.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

recipe sounds great, Don. Weather, for me, has to be in the low 60’s or 50’s for me to think of braising meat.

Lot of mustard in that.

So, really, it’s just beef stew with some cognac and mustard neener

Seriously, thanks for posting the recipe, looks great. I often put a shot of cognac in my stews and short ribs, but have never tried this much mustard.

One comment: a lot of recipes call for dredging in flour before browning, but I’ve read (and practiced for some time) that it’s a lot better to brown the meat on its own, then add whatever flour you want separately (either directly, or through a roux). That way you get the true browning of the meat that you want, and no gummy/burnt flour.

I’ll thicken a beef stew with a beurre manié 5 or 10 min before I serve the stew. It’s been a long time since I’ve floured then browned meat.

I will tell you that it worked great to flour then brown. Most of the really good browning from the meat (fond in the pot to deglaze) ends up making the sauce more complex like a roux of sorts and the meat was still great. The flour coating was VERY thin.

I like the idea of the using the beurre manie to thicken but this emulsion really starts with the mustard. The flour just adds a little body and complexity through forming a roux. The mustard really lightens the sauce too. It is the main thickener in this version.

I didn’t get any gummy burnt flour problems but I didn’t put a ton of flour on the meat. Browning the meat is more about adding complexity to the stew to me in this version. With a thin enough coating, you still get the Maillard.

Lots of ways to skin a cat.

It was the perfect amount for this stew.

BTW, if any of you guys try this, use Maille Dijon and Maille Whole Grain (Whole Seed) mustards. They really made the difference to me.

I love cooking with mustard, especially the Maille brand. Recently made braised chicken with that, solera sherry vinegar and white wine.

Love this line: “Start by rendering the bacon in a Dutch Oven on low heat. When it’s crispy and the fat is rendered, remove it from the pan and snack on it while you proceed.”

Thanks, Don. Will save this for Fall and more traditional CdP weather. Might even adapt for oxtails.

I love oxtail!

Good recipe. [welldone.gif]

Hadn’t been thinking of stews for awhile, but this looks good, and I’ll be trying it sometime in September. Might use more/other mushrooms, from shiitake to maitake to shimeji to others, since I’m in Tokyo. Also might use white wine, depending on what’s open. Almost always cook my daubes with white, fwiw. More fwiw, the bacon and brandy are how I start my coq au vin, too, though no white wine for that. Am also with the others who don’t dredge the meat in flower before browning, and stopped doing that a few years back.

Don, looks great. I’ll save for stew weather.