We're back to cooking! Start with a pound of button mushrooms. I cut off the stems and threw them away, just before I read in the recipe that I was supposed to keep them. Oh well. I washed them gently and toweled them dry. Then I quartered them and cooked them for a few minutes in butter until they turned lightly brown. They did release a bit of moisture, but mushrooms do that, y'know.
I checked the beef in the oven. Yikes! So much of the liquid had cooked off! The meat looked exposed and dry! Then I checked back in the recipe -- the liquid is supposed to decrease. Phew! Relief! I took it out of the oven and put it on the stove to sit and wait while I did the onions.
The onions are the most tedious part. I boiled them very briefly, just to loosen the skins (like, a minute). Scooped them out, and peeled them off, and cut slits in their bottoms so they wouldn't burst later. THEN, I put them back in the saucepan with butter and salt, and covered them again, half-way, with water, and simmered them for about 25 minutes.
I removed the onions, but saved the water they were cooked in. I poured off the liquid that remained in the bottom of the meat pot. Then I made a thickener with butter and flour, tempered it with some of the beef liquid, put it into the sauce pot, and then added the onion water, as you see below. This is the "sauce" for the beef bourgiognon, an essential element of any really fine food. If the sauces are insipid, the dish as a whole will be boring and unappetizing. It tasted a bit salty to me, but very rich and luscious. Adam deemed it perfect.
The dish is almost ready. I put the cooked mushrooms and onions in with the beef, all tucked neatly into the big stew pot. Then I added the yummy sauce (gravy, to us Americans!)
Voila! C'est la bouef bourgiognon! (okay, if that is bad French, don't let me know!)