Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beef Bourguignon

Now that I had the quiche and onion soup under my belt, I felt warmed up and ready to tackle something more difficult. I knew that my tour de France would not be complete without doing a boeuf bourguignon. When done well, this red wine based stew may be one of the best tasting dishes on the planet.

Although it is a time consuming dish, the results are worth every second in my opinion. For me, it was a joy to make. A real labor of love. Layers of flavors melding together beautifully. The meat was tender, the sauce was rich and slightly sweet from the wine, onions and carrots. C'est magnifique!

Beef Bourguignon

Revised by Foodism Mom from The Barefoot Contessa's recipe
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle of a full-bodied red wine, (I chose Cabernet)
  • beef broth or stock (maybe)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) 
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup flatleaf parsley (optional), chopped fine


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and turn down the heat to medium-low once it really starts sizzling. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is crispy. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl.

Dry the beef cubes well with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to a bowl and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sherry and cook for two minutes, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Put the meat with its juices and pancetta back into the pot. Add the bottle of wine, tomato paste and thyme. If the level of your liquids doesn't almost cover your meat, then add some beef broth/stock until it almost does. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Then turn down your oven to 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Take the pot out of the oven, remove the lid and keep the stew at a low simmer over medium-low heat.

Saute the mushrooms in one tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew.

Heat the now empty mushroom pan over medium heat.
When the pan is hot add 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour to the pan and stir continuously for about a minute. Add all of it to the stew. Stir in well and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the parsley.
Serve with crusty bread, garlic bread and/or buttered egg noodles.

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  1. Wow. Just... wow. I don't eat red meat, and that looks fantastic. I wonder if there's a way to make a vegetarian version. Or one with turkey or something. I'll look into that. Delish.

  2. That's the kicker. I think a lot of the flavor comes from the beef.

    You could try to make coq au vin but substitute the chicken with turkey. That would still have the wine and earthiness.