As I am moving into the new year and recovering from the flu I am drawn to less complicated foods. The days are not as short as they were a month ago, but the cold still makes me want comfort food – slow food, braised meats, and sauces I can dip big chunks of crusty bread in. Boeuf Bourguignon comes to mind, a comfort dish served often in the winter in my childhood. This dish can be served family-style on a weeknight or for company on the weekend. I like to serve it with a side of sautéed green beans and roasted potatoes. It is also good with mashed potatoes or on its own with a tossed salad at the end of the meal. No matter what, do not forget the bread!! If you have the patience, serve it a day later as all the flavors will be enhanced after sitting an extra day in the fridge.
BOEUF BOURGUIGNON (serves 6 to 8 )
- 4 pounds beef chuck (roast or steak) cut into one inch cubes
- 8 oz bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cups beef stock
- 3 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, pepper
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 4 carrots peeled, cut into 2 inch matchstick
- 2 cups pearl onions ( I use frozen one that I thaw before using or you can use fresh ones, drop them in boiling water to loosen the skin and peel. Place in a sauteed pan, cover with water half way and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender)
- 10 oz mushrooms quartered
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
In a large dutch oven sautée the bacon until nicely browned. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a plate with paper towel to drain. Transfer all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat to a small heatproof dish. Sautée the beef in the remaining tablespoon of bacon fat until brown on all sides. You might have to do this in 2 to 3 batches as you don’t want to crowd the pan. Transfer the beef into a separate dish as you brown it, adding more bacon fat as needed in the dutch oven. Once the meat is all browned, add a bit more fat in the pan and sautée the onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Dust the pan with the 3 tablespoon of flour and cook for about 2 minutes making sure the flour absorbs all the moisture in the pan. Quickly whisk in the stock and wine, making sure there are no flour lumps and bring to a slow boil while stirring. The sauce will thicken slightly. Whisk in the tomato paste. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and the thyme. Transfer the beef and bacon back into the pan, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
In the meantime prepare the vegetables. In a pot of boiling water blanch the carrots for 5 minutes, drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, and set aside. In a large sautée pan melt 2 tablespoon of the butter and sautée the quartered mushrooms until golden and crispy around the edges ( about 15 minutes ), put aside. In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sautée the pearl onions until they are a nice golden color ( about 10 minutes) and set aside.
When the Bourguignon is done, stir the vegetables in and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Taste and seasoned with more salt and pepper if needed. Add the chopped parsley before serving. Should you decide to eat it the next day, let it cool to room temperature, keep in the dutch oven or transfer to a container, and refrigerate until ready to serve. You can reheat in the oven or on top of the stove, stirring once in a while to make sure the bottom of the dutch oven does not burn.
NOTE: Why cut a piece a beef rather than buying already prepared stew meat? The stew meat from the supermarket is often from different cuts of beef that will not cook the same way thus sometime causing “tough” pieces in the stew.
From my kitchen to yours,
CK, la fille du boucher