Inspired by the movie "Julia and Julie," I adapted Julies Child?s famous Beef Bourguignon. I simplified it although it is still takes about an hour to prepare and two hours to bake. I also modified some of the ingredients but it is truly full flavored and wonderful.

6 slices bacon 1 tablespoon canola oil 2-1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut in 1" cubes salt and pepper 1 large onion, quartered and sliced 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/4 cup flour 3 cups fat-free beef broth, divided 2 cups Burgundy 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon thyme 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 pound sliced mushrooms 12 ounces pearl onions, fresh or frozen dash sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large Dutch oven style pan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, cut in 1 inch pieces and set aside in a large bowl. Add canola oil to the pan. Take each piece of stew meat and dry it with a paper towel. Place about 1/4 of the meat in the pan and brown it over medium heat. Remove from pan and place in bowl with the bacon. Repeat with remaining meat, by placing only one layer of meat in the pan to brown, adding extra oil if needed. (If too much meat is put in the pan at one time it will not brown. It will only steam and that will not develop good flavor.) Continue cooking meat until all meat is brown and placed in the bowl.

Add onions, carrots, and garlic to the pan and cook over low heat until onions are translucent. Remove vegetables from pan and place in a separate bowl from the meat. Add half of the meat back to the pan and sprinkle with half of the flour. Toss to coat. Add remaining meat and remaining flour. Toss to coat. Place pan in oven and bake for 10 minutes to brown the flour. Stir the meat after 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Add 2 cups broth, wine, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves and reserved onions and carrots to the pan. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, stirring to blend. Place pan in the oven, cover tightly and bake for about 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

While meat is baking, heat butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms in batches and cook until they are beginning to brown. Remove from skillet, place in a bowl and set aside. Add onions to the skillet and cook until beginning to brown. Add 1/2 cup of broth, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

When meat is tender, remove from oven. When ready to serve, add mushrooms and pearl onions. Heat through. Remove bay leaves.

Add extra broth if necessary to thin to desired consistency. (If sauce is too thin, thicken with a flour and water mixture.)

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of sugar if desired.

Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories: 425 Fat, gm.: 28 Protein, gm.: 30 Carbs, gm.: 13 Cholesterol, mg.: 90 Fiber, gm.: 2.3