Friday, November 18, 2011

Bœuf Bourguignon

A traditional Sunday dish, beef bourguignon is a recipe from Burgundy, France. Burgundy is a region renowned for the quality of its cattle farms, especially the Charolais cattle and its vineyards such as the Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de Nuits-Saint-Georges. Along with “pain d’epices” or “oeufs en meurette”, beef bourguignon is emblematic dish of Burgundy and its terroir.

900 g/ 2lbs. stewing beef (Beef cheeks when in a rush, otherwise chuck, rump, or round)
450 g/1lb. veal bones, or 2 cups reduced veal/beef stock
2 thick slices bacon
2 T flour
1/4 C cognac
1 bottle dry red wine (not too dry, not too sweet)
2 cloves garlic,
6 carrots peeled
2 bay leaves,
3 sprigs fresh thyme
20 pearl onions, or 4 large white onions,
1/4ered 360 g (13 oz.) button mushrooms
2 T. butter 450 g,
(1 lb.) fingerling potatoes
1 bunch chopped parsley

Trim silver skin off meat, and brown with bones in oven 1 hour at 375 F/190C. Cut meat into large dices. Dust well with flour but shake off excess Meanwhile, chop bacon and brown in wide sauté pan over medium heat. Careful not to burn oil, remove and reserve bacon once browned.

Place beef pieces in bacon fat and brown on all sides, then deglaze with Cognac, which can be flambéed if desired. Reduce 3 minutes, and then add the herbs and wine, which should cover about 1/2 way up the meat.

Salt lightly, and bring to the simmer over medium heat, careful not to ever boil. (Best not to put on a lid, as the steam build-up can quickly toughen the meat.) Add bones once browned, or make quick stock on the side by boiling bones and trimmings in wide skillet covered with water, till 2 cups liquid remain – then add to wine and meat.

Meanwhile, unless you have a huge pan, you'll have to cook the vegetables in a separate sauté pan. Melt 2 T. butter brown the mushrooms uncovered, about 10 minutes. Then add onions and carrots with light browning about 10 minutes, covered. Add garlic cloves for last 2 minutes, salt, and reserve till last 30 minutes of meat cooking.

Leave the meat immersed in the wine, and pour veggies over top, continue cooking uncovered so that sauce can thicken. If sauce remains much too thin to coat the back of a spoon, but meat is already tender, optionally pour off the sauce into another wide pan and boil to reduce sauce until it's thick enough to coat the meat.

Check for seasoning, toss in parsley the last minute, and serve with fingerling potatoes, which have been boiled about 30 minutes, salted, till tender.

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