ON A WINTER NIGHT, or after a full day of skiing, nothing is quite as satisfying as a hearty boeuf bourguignon. In France this ragoût is made with fresh unsmoked bacon, which is not stocked in most American markets. I use smoked bacon and remove the excess salt and smoky flavor by blanching it twice. The delicate smoky taste that is left creates additional character not found in the original recipe, giving this version a sauce that is fuller and more robust.
Traditionally, boeuf bourguignon is made with a local, full-bodied Burgundy made from the Pinot Noir grape. Use any similar imported or domestic wine.