Meet my Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)

wpid-wp-1417383482982.jpegI believe this is one of the most popular French dish known in the USA. It is traditionally cooked with red wine from Bourgogne (Burgundy region). This region of France is famous for it great wine, and its great beef, therefore you can imagine that the better wine and the better beef: the better the meal!

In my youth, I remember my family eating this sometimes on Sunday lunch, in fall and winter. We would go to mass for the 10 AM service, while the stew would be simmering. Once back home and hungry, we would be greeted by the familiar and promising smell…  My mum would make sure there was enough to have second serve, and usually served it with either boiled potatoes, pasta or plain rice.

Time has past, and I had a chance to taste many Bourguignon, from other friends and family, top restaurant tables, or hidden countryside restaurants… I experimented several variations and I am happy to offer below my recipe. This is the way I like it, with a little tomato taste, a little onion to add sweetness, and the subtle flavors of herbs. Moreover, this recipe is set up to be easy, with simple steps. I hope you will enroll your kids to peel the carrots, flour the beef, or make the herb bundle? I did my best to create an anxiety free recipe, wishing you will feel excited to try it sooner rather than later… Will you try cooking it for Christmas day?

Ingredients for 2 – 3:

  • 1 onion, finely slicedwpid-wp-1417383466459.jpeg
  • 4 to 6 slices of bacon (smoked, uncured, cured… as you like) cut in 1/4 inch strips wpid-wp-1417383474905.jpeg
  • 1lb beef for stew (brisket is fine) cut in 1 inch square pieces
  • 1 tbs of flour (or starch if you are avoiding gluten)
  • 1lb of carrots peeled and cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 lb mushroom, cut in 1/2 inch piece (a tin of button mushroom is fine, make sue you rinse it well)
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely cut and crushed
  • 1lb of stock (beef, or vegetable. I use cubes and hot water and it works just fine)
  • 1 bottle of pinot noir wine. Any bottle in reasonable price (between $5 and $10 is a good range, if you can, choose an organic wine)
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 “bouquet garni” ; mixed leaves bouquet – Tyme, Rosemary and Sage tight together with cotton thread.wpid-wp-1417383424249.jpeg

Steps:

  1. In a large non-stick pot, gently stir the bacon until lightly brown and the fat has melted.wpid-wp-1417383459697.jpeg
  2. Add the sliced onion and stir with bacon until onion is translucent. It cooks in the bacon fat, make sure it doesn’t burn.
  3. With a tissue, pat dry the pieces of beef. Coat the beef pieces with 1 tbs of flour (or starch)wpid-wp-1417383448441.jpeg
  4. Take of the bacon and onion from the pan, leaving the leftover melted fat. Raise the fire to high  and add in the beef pieces, and let them color on each side, by stirring every 2 minutes or so.wpid-wp-1417383436470.jpeg
  5. Once the beef has a nice light brown color, lower the heat to medium and add in the carrot pieces, mushroom, garlic and the onion and bacon that was set aside. Stir gently for 10 minutes, until the carrots and mushroom start to color.wpid-wp-1417383430482.jpeg
  6. Raise the fire on high and add the tomato paste, the bouquet garni, the wine, and top up with the stock to just cover the pieces.wpid-wp-1417383413727.jpeg 
  7. Stir and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then lower the fire to medium-low and let it on low simmering for 2 to 4 hours, with a lid.wpid-wp-1417383406139.jpeg
  8. When ready, take of the bouquet garni and serve with boiled potatoes, fresh pasta, or basmati rice.wpid-wp-1417383387865.jpeg
  9. If you like, you can thicken the sauce to make a consistency similar to a light gravy:
  10. Set the pieces in a serving dish, and keep the liquid in the pot. When the liquid simmers, add a flour, one spoon at a time, while stirring until you achieve desired thickness (you will use up to 4 spoon, take your time and use a whisk to stir efficiently). When ready, pour the sauce over the pieces in the serving dish.
  11. Enjoy your homemade Boeuf Bourguignon, the most popular French dish in USA, and be proud!
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