Beef Bourguignon is perhaps Burgundy's most iconic dish; a rich beef stew made infamous in America by Julia Child, prepared from marinated beef simmered in local wine with a calves foot, onions, bacon lardons, herbs and mushrooms.
Heat pork fat in large pot, add bacon, and cook till lightly browned.. I generally would advise staying away from strongly smoked bacon as it imparts too smokey a flavor for a dish as subtle as this. The French would blanch the bacon first in boiling water.
Drop your peeled pearl onions into the pork fat, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and reserve with bacon. Do not worry about fully cooking as they will simmer in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
What cut of beef to use? Avoid what most stores call stew beef, it usually is devoid of fat and cartilage, two things necessary for stewing. I generally use meat from the shoulder or oxtails, short ribs or shanks.