Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Cooking Beef Bourguignon
Because I am totally a sheep, I watched Julie and Julia and promptly got my Beef Bourguignon on. What can I say, I am easily influenced.
I learned many things while making this dish.
1. I loved the process and I felt really connected to this dish.
2. It is fun to light food on fire.
3. I cannot for the life of me pronounce Beef Bourguignon or Worcestershire or Conscience
I have made this dish three times since that movie inspired me. I wake up early to start the whole process. In between loving my baby and passing by the husband cranking out some coffee on the Keurig (love that thing!) I am happily searing the beef and peppering up the carrots and onions…don’t get me started on how hard it is to resist the bacon…and making your husband resist it.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 8) delightfully borrowed from Ina.
• 1 tablespoon good olive oil
• 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
• 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
• 2 yellow onions, sliced
• 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
• 1/2 cup Cognac
• 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
• 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 pound frozen whole onions
• 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper (do this!!! Make sure beef is really dry). 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 the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside. Make sure to do in batches, you want to keep the juice to a minimum.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons 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 Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices.
Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
I make this in the early am and let it rest all day on my stove top, it really is something you cook..not just eat.
PS. I have no dutch oven, I improvised my placing a large ceramic dish in my preheated oven, then pouring the BB into that dish from a regular old pot. I covered it tightly with foil. Improvise!