Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to make Beef Bourguignon

This celebrated dish from Burgundy, France, makes a rich, warming dinner for a winter weekend. Beef is simmered in a rich red wine sauce to make it tender and flavorful. The beef should be marinated for several hours, or overnight. This recipe specifies flank steak, but other nicely marbled cuts, or even "stew meat" can be used. As involved as this recipe is, though, you may not want to skimp on the ingredients.

Equipment needed
Mixing bowls
Medium saucepanLarge skillet

1 medium Carrot, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium Celery Stalk
1 1⁄2 pounds Beef Flank Steak
1 medium Onion, peeled and chopped into 1/2-in. pieces
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Bouquet Garni, usually thyme, basil, and sage
1 2⁄3 cups Burgundy, I use a non-alcoholic variety.
Salt, as needed
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil, add more if needed
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Flour
5 cups Veal Stock, or brown stock
Water, as needed
8 Baby Onions
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
8 Fresh Button Mushrooms, trimmed and quartered.
3 slices Bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.
Dried Parsley Flakes, or fresh to garnish

Place the beef, onion, celery, carrots and garlic into a non-reactive mixing bowl. Add the bouguet garni and wine and gently toss together. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for half a day, or refrigerate overnight.

After marinating, place a large sieve into another mixing bowl. Pour in the marinated beef and vegetables to strain off the marinade. Remove the bouquet garni. Reserve the marinade and the bouquet garni, for later.

Dry the beef and cut into 2 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, F.

Heat cooking oil in a large, oven-safe saucepan over high heat. Add the marinated beef and saute briefly to brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the beef to a dish.

Put the marinated vegetables in the same saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium low and saute gently until the vegetables start to brown. Take care not to burn them.

Add the tomato paste and flour. Stir and cook briefly. Return the strained marinade to the pan. Turn the heat back to high and bring it to a boil.

Return the beef to the pan and add the stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Add the bouquet garni, cover, and turn off the heat. Place the saucepan into the preheated oven and cook for 55 minutes. At this point, you can prep the remaining ingredients.

While the beef mixture is cooking, prepare the other ingredients.

Fill a clean saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the baby onions to the water and boil until soft. Remove and discard the water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bacon until most of the fat melts and then add the mushrooms. Add the boiled baby onions. Cook until the mushrooms are done.

Remove the stewed beef and juices from the oven and skim off any fat. Add the cooked vegetables and stir together.

When serving, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in individual serving bowls. Use a ladle to pour some of the sauce over each serving and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6.

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