Friday, February 4, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon


How does Boeuf Bourguignon sound for dinner?  After watching Julie & Julia, I knew this was something that I needed to try.  I found this adaption from the Passionate Homemaking site.

After a little research on the pronunciation of bourguignon (and I hope you all use your inner French chef accent when saying it as I do!), I discovered that it was originally peasant food. It’s a type of beef stew from the region of Burgundy, France.  Peasants ate it because they couldn’t afford the best cuts of meats, so they would cook them for hours in a fluid, this time being red wine, to make the meat more tender.   This technique is cherished by the French, and it was adapted into haute cuisine.  Whoa, another foreign term!  Haute cuisine in French literally means high cooking, fancy cooking, cooking that takes elaborate preparations and presentations.
OK, so it’s fancy food, its peasant food, who cares? It’s different food!  Let’s take a spin on our traditional beef stew.  So what if the only difference may be a little red wine and the name?  How often do you get to say you had Boeuf Bourguignon (don’t forget the accent) for dinner?
Please read through all your instructions and be prepared!! I know we stress this more often than not, but I could have easily had a meltdown last night if there was someone there to listen to me.   Prep work could have saved me.  It didn’t ruin me, but it caused for my kitchen to end up looking like this.  (Don’t be cruel…I’m just being honest)
For kicks and giggles, let’s put on our pearls to make this. For Julia of course.
1.       Always say Boeuf Bourguignon in your best French accent
2.       Wear pearls
3.       Prep all your ingredients before you start your dish.
I guess we’d consider #3 the most important.
Let’s back up to our ingredients.  It’s not that expensive of a meal to prepare, and it doesn’t call for too many ingredients.  You probably have most on hand.  One ingredient in particular was arrowroot powder.  Have you ever heard of arrowroot powder?  Me either.  I think I’m grocery store handicapped.  I get in there, and I want to get out so quickly that I suddenly lose my vision and ability to read.  I gave up…I read you could use flour or cornstarch instead.  I used cornstarch.  On to the wine!  This recipe calls for Burgundy wine.  First, I had to figure out what exactly that is.  It’s a Pinot Noir.  This can run you very expensive if you get a true wine from Burgundy, but they always say get one you’d feel comfortable drinking.  I don’t drink red wine, therefore I felt comfortable buying some brand on sale with a rooster on it.

6 strips of bacon
2-3 lbs Stew meat, cut in 1 in cubes
5 carrots
1 onion
1 tsp salt/ ¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 cups Pinot Noir
2-3 cups Beef Stock
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp thyme
1-2  bay leaves
2 lbs mushrooms

When you get home from the grocery, set you meat out for it to come to room temperature.  Rinse, drain, and pat dry.  Let’s prep! Peel and chop your onion and carrots.  This recipe called for two carrots, but I wanted more hearty chunks, so I used five.  Do you still have the urge to bite one and say, “Eh, what’s up, doc?” Oh, you don’t?  Me either...
Let’s get cooking!  Preheat oven to 325. Use the largest stove top to oven safe dish you have.  In this case, I borrowed my mom’s Dutch oven.   Cook your bacon; remove from pan.  It’s going to be hard, but leave all the bacon grease.  Throw all your meat in there and brown.  I may or may not have had to open a window at this point due to smoke.

  • Add carrots, onion, and ½ cup beef stock.  Cook for a few minutes
  • Add crumbled bacon, then salt, pepper, and cornstarch
  • Add your wine, beef stock, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. 

Cover and place in the lower portion of your oven and cook for 2 ½  hours. 

Right before the two hours is up; cook your mushrooms on the stove top in butter and oil. 

This is what it looks like after cooking two hours.

Mix them into the party and cook another half hour- hour. 

Check after half hour; if the meat is easily pierced with a fork it’s done!
I had planned ahead to have this meal the next night so at this point, I let cool and tucked away in the frig, or you could serve immediately with noodles /mashed potatoes and garlic bread.
This is not a weeknight meal unless you plan on cooking it the night before.  I started around 6:00 and didn’t pull it out of the oven for good until 10:00.  The next night, I put back in a 325 degree oven to warm up for about 30-45 minutes.  This version of this recipe was delicious! Now, I think I’m ready to try Julia’s!  
Bon Appétit!

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was yummy! Not quite as thick as a traditional beef stew. The carrots were the best! They absorbed all the flavors. Definitely worth a try.