Enjoy a steaming bowl of this hearty classic French Beef Bourguignon (Boeuf Bourguignon)!
Begin with placing your cubed chuck steak into a medium to large bowl. Season with salt & pepper, the chopped fresh thyme, and add the three bay leaves, then cover with a bottle of your red wine of choice. *Use less red wine, if desired, and increase the amount of beef broth used. If using more beef broth, cover the meat with the desired amount of red wine then add enough beef broth to cover the meat and allow it to marinate overnight.
Separate the marinated beef from the red wine that it was in overnight, reserving the red wine for use later.
Bring a large skillet or frying pan to medium high heat and crisp the bacon pieces (about 8 minutes). Do not drain off the bacon grease. Remove the cooked bacon and set aside in a dutch oven or casserole dish (one with a fitted lid).
Once the bacon has been browned and removed from the skillet or frying pan, begin searing the marinated pieces of chuck steak in batches until all of the pieces of meat have been browned on all sides (about 3-4 minutes) and placed in the dutch oven or casserole dish. *Hopefully you still have had enough bacon grease to use for searing the meat chunks, and enough remaining for frying the chopped onion as well. If not, you may need to add some olive oil as necessary to continue.
Saute the chopped onion in remaining bacon grease until translucent, then transfer into the dutch oven or casserole dish with the bacon and browned beef.
Add the all-purpose flour into the frying pan to soak up any remaining grease, stir, then add thee tomato paste. Begin mixing and add the reserved red wine into the frying pan to create sauce for the beef bourguignon. Whisk to combine, then add the beef broth and bring to a boil.
Once the sauce has reached a full boil, transfer to the dutch oven or casserole dish. Pour directly over the bacon, beef and onion. Cover and cook in preheated oven at 395 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 1 hour.
Remove the cooking beef bourguignon from the oven after 1 hour and add the pearl onions, mushrooms, carrots and butter. Stir to combine, then return to the oven and continue to cook for 1 additional hour.
Remove from the oven after 2 hours total cooking time in the oven and serve immediately over pasta, mashed potatoes, or toasted bread.