Weekend Cooking: Boeuf Bourguignonne

Posted 12 January, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in

I’m Weekend Cooking with Beth Fish Reads! Just to change things up, I’ve actually cooked something instead of my usual restaurant/foodie review. It’s a result of being reunited with all my kitchen gadgets, spices, cookbooks, and dishes after being separated for seven months. So let’s get to it! 

I went grocery shopping earlier this week with no list, no idea what I wanted to cook this week, I just bought a bunch of meat, a bunch of vegetables, and a bunch of household staples (like soy sauce).

I decided to whip out one of my favorite cookbooks, The Joy of Cooking (2006). I know there are some francophiles about so I settled on Bouef Bourguignonne which is simply a French Beef Stew. You’ll find my notes in this color within the recipe.

Recipe – Adapted from The Joy of Cooking (2006) p. 479
Cut into 2-inch cubes:
2 – 3 pounds of boneless beef stew meat, such as shoulder chuck 
I measured two inch cubes roughly using my fingers, I had a sneaking suspicion that they were going to be too large, but I’m trying an exotic new experiment of actually following the recipe.

Place the meat in a large bowl and add:

2 cups of dry red wine I used ‘Mercer Canyons, Red Blend, 2009’.
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 carrot, chopped I used baby-cut carrots and accidentally decimated them in my chopper. So I added 10 or 12 ‘whole’ baby carrots later in the recipe. 
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped parsley I used dried parsley.
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon of cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir to combine and coat the meat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours (I let mine marinate somewhere between 8 – 10 hours) turning the meat occasionally (typing this is the first time I noticed this particular instruction, I didn’t turn, but all the meat was covered). Drain the beef, reserving the marinade and reserve the liquid and vegetables separately. (Oops. I missed this too… so much for following the recipe.) Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add and brown:

4 ounces of bacon, diced I failed to dice my bacon beforehand so I cut it up after it had been cooked.

Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pan, you should have two tablespoons (I had more than that), if not add vegetable oil as needed. Return the pot to medium high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown on all sides, being careful not to over-crowd the pot. Remove with slotted spoon. Add the reserved vegetables and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in: 

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. (Just like making a roux for those familiar with making gumbo.) Stir in the marinade, then return the beef and bacon to the pot. (Since thoroughly decimated the vegetables using the Kitchen Aid chopper I didn’t separate them from the marinade so everything but the meat was returned to the pot with the marinade. This is where I added the extra whole baby carrots.) Add:

2 cups small boiling onions, peeled (OMG. This is the first time I’ve used boiling onions. What a pain.)

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until the meat is fork-tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Add:

2 cups of mushrooms, quartered (about 8 ounces)

Cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Skim off the fat from the surface. Add:

1/4 cup of chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste


Final Thoughts
This recipe was extraordinarily savory and delicious. Despite my usual missteps with the recipe it still came out well. In hindsight, I was correct in not wanting to cut the meat into the two inch cubes, next time I will probably try one or even half inch cubes. I wouldn’t want the meat to get too tough so I might be hesitant to go any smaller than that. Also, I think I would have enjoyed some potatoes in this stew, it would have made it heartier and a little more stew-like. Alternatively, I might cook up some egg noodles to serve it over as leftovers. 

The recipe itself was pretty easy and didn’t take a whole lot of time and effort, especially with the chopper. (Can you tell I love that thing?) If you’re tired of the old pot-roast this is an excellent alternative. 

April @ The Steadfast Reader


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