Beef Bourguignon Recipe
As we are focussing on the wine treasures of Burgundy, what better than to sample the most traditional of dishes from this region, ‘Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef in Burgundy Red Wine ’
This dish is a perfect example of an early ‘peasant style’ meal becoming elevated to one of ‘haute cuisine’. As with many recipes of this time cheaper cuts of meat were originally used, so this particular method of slowly simmering the beef in wine was a means of tenderizing the meat.
One of the most influential chefs in France, George Auguste Escoffier born in 1836, became famous for popularising and updating traditional French methods of cookery. As with many authentic dishes, he was responsible for refining this recipe to the much heralded position it holds today in restaurants the world over. His style formed an essential part of my initial training in French cuisine and I have re-created this ‘classic’ for you to enjoy. Simple to prepare and rustic in style, it is a delicious creation to enjoy with your chosen Burgundy wine, as a lunch or dinner party dish for your guests.
• 2 onions and 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped [1 extra onion for marinade]
• 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
• 2lb [1 kg] best beef [chuck, rump, top side] diced into 2 inch cubes [Ask your butcher]
• 12 fluid oz [300ml] red Burgundy Wine
[I always use a full bottle]
• 5 oz [150g] lean bacon
• 1/2pt beef stock [Knorr cubes preferred]
• 1oz [25g] Flour
• 12oz [350g] button chestnut mushrooms
• 12 small onions [pickling or shallot] peeled
• 2oz [50g] unsalted butter
• Olive oil
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 bay leaf and some dried thyme
• Fresh parsley, chopped
• Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the best result, the beef should be marinated in the red wine with 1 extra chopped onion for 24hrs before. Then use the marinade as you would the red wine and stock
• Melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan, add the chopped onions, celery, garlic and cook over a moderate heat until lightly coloured making sure you do not burn the garlic.
• Fry the beef in sufficient olive oil until sealed [browned on all sides] in a separate frying pan then add the lightly coloured chopped onions and garlic
• Add the herbs, salt, black pepper and bay leaf and dust the meat with the flour, turning over for 1 min, lightly brown but do not singe
• Add the red wine or marinade and reduce by half. Then add the stock, enough to just cover the beef and simmer for approx 1 hr 30 minutes [or until meat is just cooked]
• Meanwhile - Prepare the bacon, mushrooms and shallots:
• Place the shallots [or small onions] in an oven proof pan [large enough to hold the mushrooms as well] and coat with some red wine, bring to a simmer and cook for approx 3/4 minutes or until soft. Add the button mushrooms, turn until just browned and place in a hot oven for 5 minutes until caramelised
• Fry the chopped bacon and when lightly browned, add to the onions, mushrooms and sprinkle on the sugar and coat
• Add to the beef and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender
• Taste and correct the seasoning, remove the bay leaf and sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve
This dish can be eaten ‘rustic style’ with chunks of fresh bread dipped in the sauce, or served with potatoes roasted with rosemary or mashed with milk, unsalted butter and a little cream and seasoned lightly with nutmeg. ‘Petit pois’ style peas with fresh mint and buttered ‘Chantennay’ carrots will finish off this classic dish.
Happy Eating - Alan Hunter at Wines Direct.
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