Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl or plastic zipper bag. Add several pieces of the meat to the flour and shake until coated. Continue until all of the meat has been coated with flour. Brown the meat in a preheated skillet in small batches so as not to crowd the pan. Turn until all sides are browned. Do not try to turn too early. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Place in the slow cooker. Discard any unused flour.
Now add the wine and butter to the skillet and stir over medium heat, scraping the bottom to get the browned bits. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until it begins to thicken. .
Add the bay leaves, garlic, ground cloves, and thyme sprigs. Pour the liquid mixture over the beef in the slow cooker. (I prepare everything up to this point the night before to save time in the morning)
Add the carrots, onions and mushrooms to the top of the stew and then cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
Remove the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs before serving.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. This is good served over noodles or herbed mashed potatoes (pictured). Garnish with fresh thyme or fresh chopped parsley.
Flour may be substituted for cornstarch for a gluten-free recipe.
Potatoes may be omitted if serving over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.
Ground Clove may be ommitted with a notable flavor loss
Red Wine may be replaced with beef stock with a flavor loss.
What is the best wine to use for Beef Bourguignon? Any bold full-bodied red wine works well for this recipe. Great choices include:
French Bordeaux (Red) - with grapes typical to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet Sauvignon - is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavors and savory tastes from black pepper to bell pepper.
Merlot - there are three main styles of Merlot — a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins, a fruity wine with more tannic structure and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the latter would be perfect.
Red Zinfandel - lighter in color than both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. However, although a light-bodied red wine Zinfandel's moderate tannin and high acidity gives it a bold flavor.
Pinot Noir - this wine is produced from red grapes but it is much lighter in color than other red wines. Pinot Noir flavors and aromas include roses, fruits, black cherry, berry, and currant. Other characteristics include high acidity and low tannins.
Portuguese Madeira Wine - A fortified wine characterised with high-toned colors, almond flavors, and high acidity.
Verdelho has its fermentation halted a little earlier than Sercial.
This style of wine is characterized by smokey notes and high acidity.