The tremendous success of this Beef Burgundy depends primarily on three things: The cut of meat used; The long, slow baking time; The quality of wine used. The meat needs to be extremely lean and durable enough to last through several hours of baking. Round or rump is perfect for the purpose.
The long baking time at low temperature brings out the wonderful richness of the dish. Finally, the choice of wine. To put it bluntly, a cheap, bad, or wrongly chosen wine will ruin the dish. Bordeaux wines, though they have the right quality, are too delicate to add the richness the dish needs.
White wines (other than a white burgundy) are too thin. The best wine is a full, rich French burgundy, or its California counterpart.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a great choice. So is a white burgundy, if the desired result is a less intense wine flavor. In any event, there are many good French and California burgundies that would work very well, without costing an arm and a leg. Just don't use a two dollar bottle of wine, unless you want a two dollar beef burgundy.
Heat 4T olive oil and 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet. Dredge the meat in flour to coat, and brown in the skillet. Flame with the warmed cognac. When the flames have gone out, place the meat in an oven proof pot. Use a slotted spoon. Saute the diced salt pork until very crisp. Put in the pot with the meat.
Mince the large onion and the garlic. Slice the carrots, leeks, and shallots. Add all to the skillet and saute until tender and browned. Place in the baking pot with the meats. Add salt and fresh ground pepper.
Finally, add enough burgundy to completely immerse the ingredients, making sure to reserve enough wine to later on cook the boiling onions (about 4T for six servings). Cover pot and bake in oven 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 260 to 300F. At the end of the baking time, skim off any fat; Then, add about 2T butter and 2T flour. Add the flour slowly to prevent lumping. Continue baking for about 2 hours longer.
One hour before the dish is done:
Saute until almost tender the boiling onions, in about 1T butter, with a few pinches of sugar and the remaining 4T or so of the wine. Reserve and keep warm.
Saute until lightly browned the mushroom caps in the remaining 1T butter, 1T olive oil, and a little lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon for 6 servings). Reserve and keep warm.
Final assembly: About 1/2 hour before the beef burgundy is done, gently stir in the boiling onions and the mushroom caps, along with their collected juices. When the dish is done, garnish with the minced parsley. Wonderful with garlic bread and more of the burgundy used in the recipe.