Excerpt: 'Real Simple Celebrations' Recipes for beef bourguignonne and a rustic apple tart form the excerpt for this book, recommended by Karen Grigsby Bates in her holiday book roundup for Day to Day.
NPR logo Excerpt: 'Real Simple Celebrations'

Excerpt: 'Real Simple Celebrations'

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Beef bourguignonne

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Rustic apple tart

Recipes for beef bourguignonne and a rustic apple tart form the excerpt for this book, recommended by Karen Grigsby Bates in her holiday book roundup for Day to Day.

beef bourguignonne

31/2 to 4 pounds stew or chuck meat, cut into 11/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 bottle dry red wine (such as Côtes du Rhône)

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

2 14.5-ounce cans (31/2 cups) low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 small yellow onion

1 pound baby-cut carrots

8 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound fresh or frozen pearl onions

1 pound button mushrooms, thickly sliced


Heat oven to 300° F. Season the meat on all sides with 1 tablespoon of the salt and the

pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the meat until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add the wine to the drippings in the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add the meat, tomatoes, and 2 cups of the broth. Bring to a simmer. Add the yellow onion, 3 of the baby carrots, and the garlic. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven for 1 hour. Add the remaining carrots, cover, and return to oven until the meat is fork-tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes more. Skim any fat from the surface.


Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and the remaining broth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and the onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Melt the remaining butter. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released by the mushrooms almost completely evaporates, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the onions and add the remaining salt. (You can cover and refrigerate the ingredients, keeping the onions and mushrooms separate from the stew, for up to 2 days. The day of the party, skim any fat from the surface of the stew and reheat, covered, over a medium-low flame for 45 minutes.)


Transfer the pot of stew to the stovetop and warm over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the onion half. Simmer, uncovered, until the stew reduces to the desired consistency, 10 to 20 minutes. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes more. Spoon onto plates.

rustic apple tart

hands-on time: 20 minutes • total time: 11/2 hours


1 refrigerated piecrust

5 medium apples, preferably Empire or McIntosh, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Heat oven to 375º F. Unfold the piecrust and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the apples, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cinnamon, and lemon zest. Place the apple mixture in the center of the crust. Fold the edge of the crust over the apple mixture, allowing it to fall into pleats (the center of the tart should be uncovered). Lightly brush the top of the crust with water and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.