Boeuf Bourguignon (a.k.a. Beef Stew)Posted on 05 Apr 2014
Boeuf Bourguignon (essentially, beef stewed in red wine), like most braising dishes is really quite easy and, in my opinion, borderline idiotproof –provided that idiot knows how to use a knife. Not to mention stewing beef in wine is one of the more delicious things you can do with it.
This recipe of mine is for a basic boeuf bourguignon, which you can get more adventurous with if you like.
- a heavy skillet
- a large roasting pan with lid
- a corkscrew & wine glass –cooking with wine = drinking with wine
- ~2 kg chuck beef
- ~2 cups flour
- ~4 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 large carrots
- 3-4 large potatoes
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bouquet garni –I used a sprig of rosemary & parsley plus 2 bay leaves
- 1 bottle red wine (something in the $15 range, don’t waste your good stuff on cooking)
- water or beef stock
- salt (kosher) & pepper
A bouquet garni is simply a bunch of tided-together herbs. For this recipe, herbs that I suggest trying (and are most typical) are: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, bayleaf.
One thing about stew, is that it’s forgiving to modification and its ingredients can be easily added to or changed.
One can vary the root vegetables used, such as turnip/rutabaga or parsnip, or use peeled baby potatoes instead of pieces of larger ones. The addition of mushrooms (which would go in more towards the end of cooking as they’re more delicate) wouldn’t go astray, either.
Also you can substitute out sauteing chopped garlic and onion and simply stew whole garlic cloves and pearl onions in the oven with everything else.
- Peel and cut into large pieces both the carrots and potatoes, when finished there should be around an equal amount (around a 4 cups) of each. Immerse in cold water and set aside.
- With a (sharp) knife cut the beef into 1-2 inch cubes and season generously with salt & pepper.
- Dredge all the cubes in flour, shaking to remove excess. Set aside.
- Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt until it begins to sizzle.
- Place some of the meat cubes in the hot butter, try not to overcrowd them.
- In batches, brown the cubes on all sides; place each batch in your roasting pan when finished.
- After the final browning session, add immediately the onion and garlic, and a couple tablespoons water to begin the deglazing process.
- Saute while scraping all those nicely browned bits of meat off the bottom of the pan
- (At this point you should have opened the wine and have had a glass.)
- When the onions and garlic are semi-translucent. Pour about half of the bottle of wine into the pan, add your herbs and allow to come up to a simmer.
- Pour the contents of your skillet into the roasting pan (atop the meat) and add your chopped potatoes and carrots.
- If necessary, add some beef stock, water or more wine (if there’s any left) until the level of liquid is just below all the meat and veg.
- Generously season the whole pan with salt and plenty of pepper.
- Cover and place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for ~90 minutes.
- After which, the onions and garlic should have practically dissolved and you ought be able to pass a fork easily through a piece of potato.
- Before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning (with salt & pepper) to your liking.
- Serve and garnish with a little fresh parsley, for some color.
- Enjoy, with a slice of fresh bread if you like.