Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon is a retro dish that was very popular in the 50's, and 60's, in fact this recipe is based on one from Julia Child who helped make French Cuisine popular in this country.

Beef Bourguignon is a well-known, traditional French recipe. It is essentially a type of beef stew prepared with cubed beef stewed in red wine (preferably an assertive, full-bodied wine such as Burgundy), generally flavoured with garlic, onions, carrots, bacon, a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions and mushrooms.

Blanching the Bacon to remove the smoke flavor is traditional, but sometimes I don't do it because I like the smoky flavor of the bacon even though it isn't technically correct for the dish.

Beef Bourguignon

6 oz of blanched bacon
2 to 3 Tbsp cooking oil
4 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and
freshly ground pepper
2 cups sliced onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 bottle of red wine
2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 medium herb bouquet (tie 8 parsley sprigs, 1 large bay leaf, 1 tsp dried thyme, 2 whole cloves or allspice berries, and 3 large cloves of smashed garlic together in cheesecloth)

Beurre manié for the sauce: 3 Tbsp flour blended to a pasted with 2 Tbsp butter

24 small brown-braised white onions
3 cups sautéed quartered mushrooms

Blanch the bacon to remove its smoky taste. Drop bacon slices into 2 quarts of cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and dry on paper towels.

In a large frying pan, sauté the blanched bacon to brown slightly in a little oil; set them aside and add later to simmer with the beef, using the rendered fat in browning. Brown the chunks of beef on all sides in the bacon fat and oil, season with salt and pepper, and turn them into a heavy casserole pan. Add the bacon to the casserole pan as well.

Remove all but a little fat from the frying pan, add the sliced vegetables and brown them, and add to the meat. Deglaze the pan with wine, pouring it into the casserole along with enough stock to almost cover the meat. Stir in the tomatoes and add the herb bouquet. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer slowly on the lowest heat possible, either on the stove or in a preheated 325 degree oven, until the meat is tender. Check at about 40 minutes.

Remove all solids from the sauce (except the beef) by draining through a colander set over a saucepan. Return the beef to the casserole. Press juices out of the residue into the cooking liquid, then degrease and boil down the liquid to 3 cups. Off heat, whisk in the beurre manié, then simmer for 2 minutes as the sauce thickens lightly. Correct seasoning and pour over the meat, folding in the onions and mushrooms. To serve, bring to a simmer, basting meat and vegetables with the sauce for several minutes until hot throughout.

No comments: