Boeuf Bourguignon

Ever since I saw Julie and Julia, I’ve been wanting to make Julia Child’s  boeuf bourguignon, so here goes my first ever post on honeyandsoy. It’s not that I’ve never made boeuf bourguignon before, in fact that was one of the first dishes that Aly and I wanted to master.

Back in our teens when we did not know that if only we cooked the boeuf bourguignon for just a little longer (more like 2 hours) it’ll melt in your mouth. Many an afternoon was spent perfecting our “recipe”, but we never seemed to have gotten the beef tender enough even though back then the taste was sensational.

Fast forward to today, we look back and laugh at those days. Aly is now a full fledged chef, cooking boeuf bourguignon perfectly if she wanted to. And I have cooked many a boeuf bourguignon so this is definitely one of those dishes that I’ve always wanted to write about.

So the weekend came and out came the craving for a rich warming stew this particularly cold Saturday. I knew that I had some bottles of Canberra region Taemas Shiraz 2006 ( which honey and I picked the grapes for) which would be a perfect match with the organic beef I bought that morning at the farmer’s markets.

Here’s Julia Child’s recipe I got from Oprah.com, that I semi followed, with the variations to the recipe made in the recipe list.

Servings: Serves 6 or 4 very hungry people

Ingredients:

Kitchen Supplies:
  • 9- to 10-inch, fireproof casserole dish , 3 inches deep (used the 6L Scanpan pot)
  • Slotted spoon

Boeuf Bourguignon:

  • 6 ounces bacon (left that out coz T is in a no pork mood)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 sliced carrot ( I wanted a more rustic look  so I stuck to carrot rounds)
  • 1 sliced onion (I love the flavor that shallots  bring to the dish and could not resist  putting  some in)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (I used the Taemas  Shiraz )
  • 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic ( used roasted garlic )
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme (used marjoram and  thyme from the garden)
  • Crumbled bay leaf
  • Blanched bacon rind (no pork mode for T)
  • 18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in stock (used shallots and put in some leek)
  • 1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter (whole mushrooms look so much better)
  • Parsley sprigs (Used garlic chives from the garden)

Directions:

Remove rind from bacon, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.

Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers
very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

When the melt is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.


Hope you enjoy this as much as we did on a cold wintry night. Read the following post to see what dessert we had with this meal!

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