Hello dear readers,
After tackling the Croquembouche for Christmas I decided to go for Boeuf Bourguignon. I followed the recipe from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louise Bertholle. This was my first try ever and it was wonderful!
I made this dish for my birthday celebration yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture of the end result, sorry! I had some leftover though and put those in the freezer, so if it looks nice enough when I reheated I will make and post a picture next week.
What you will need (note: I am a bit pigheaded and I did not follow the recipe exactly, this is what I did/ used)
– 170 grams of bacon cubes
– 1,5 kg of lean stewing steak (tip: get it at the butcher and let them cut it into 2 cm pieces)
– 1 carrot (sliced)
– 1 onion (sliced)
– 40 grams of flour
– 750 ml young, full bodied red wine (I used Blason de Bourgogne, Mâcon Rouge from 2011; I have NO knowlegde of wine, so I asked somebody at the store)
– 1 small can of tomato paste
– 500 ml of beef stock (I used water and a stock cube, works fine)
– 1/2 tsp of thyme
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 bay leaf
– 400 grams of mushrooms
– olive oil
– salt and pepper
How to make it:
1. Preheat your oven to 210 degrees Celsius. Put the bacon in a big pot (or casserole, but I didn’t have one) and add around 1 L of water. Let it simmer for 2-4 minutes then drain. In the now empty big pot heat some oil and sauté the bacon. Get the bacon out and put it in a big bowl.
2. Dry your beef with some paper towels, according to the book: “Beef will not brown when damp!”.
Now add some more olive oil to the pot and heat the oil until almost smoking. Brown the beef in portions. Don’t put too much in the pan or it won’t brown. The beef will stick, just get it loose from the bottom with a wooden spoon or something. When browned put it in the same bowl as the bacon.
3. Now continue with the carrots and onions. Brown slightly in the same fat. Put them in another bowl than the bowl with the beef and bacon. Drain the excess oil from your pot.
4. Return the beef and bacon to the pot and sprinkle on the flour. Mix well and put the pot in the oven for 4 minutes. Stir and return to the oven for 4 more minutes. This will create a crust around the beef, cook the flour and the flour will thicken you sauce later.
5. Stir in the wine and beef stock. Also add your tomato paste, carrot and onion, crushed garlic, bay leaf, thyme and some salt and bring to a slight simmer. Put it on a really low fire with a heat distributer in-between. Let it simmer for 3 hours.
6. Quarter the mushrooms. Heat some olive oil and a nob of butter in frying pan. Wait until the bubbles are gone and add your mushrooms. Bake them until golden.
7. Drain your stew over a sauce pan. Return the beef, bacon, vegetables to the pot and add the mushrooms.
8. Now it is time to reduce your sauce. Put the saucepan with your drainage on the hob and heat. When it is to thin to cover a spoon (which was the case) simmer it down. Keep and eye and stir regularly. Taste and add some more thyme/ garlic/ salt if needed. This is also the point where I added pepper.
9. Return the sauce to the pot and stir through.
Serve with potatoes, vegetables or my favorite: Pappardelle. This dish can be made in advance. Cool down the stew and store it in the fridge. Just heat it slowly on the hob the next day.
I must say I was nervous to make this. The day before I was just browsing the internet looking for people who made it and I have read things like it is a difficult dish which lots of techniques you need to master and that many people failed making this the first time. But I didn’t get scared, made it and rocked it! What’s next?
I hope I inspired you to make it too, let me know if you did and how it turned out!