Saturday, December 5, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon

Winter has finally arrived and brought with it cold, rainy weather. It's amazing how our appetites change with the changing seasons. This summer I couldn't even think of eating a meat stew and now it's all I want!

Yesterday was a lazy day at home which was perfect to get some cooking done for the week. I decided to make boeuf bourguignon because it is an excellent dish to reheat over and over. If you make enough, it can easily last half the week or you can freeze it.

This recipe is easy and comes from Christophe's grandmother, Mémé.

Boeuf Bourguignon
serves 4

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch chunks
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 large button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons dried herbs de Provence or dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups red wine
1 teaspoon flour or cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy pot over moderately high heat. Brown beef pieces well in several batches making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Transfer beef and it's juices to a bowl.

In the same pot, sauté the onions 10 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and continue cooking another 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pot along with dried herbs, bay leaves, tomato paste and red wine. Bring to a boil uncovered for 10 minutes then turn down heat and cover pot. Let simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the sliced mushrooms to the stew, cover and let simmer another 30 minutes. When the beef is tender enough to be cut with a spoon then it's done. Be sure not to overcook it because the meat will fall apart.

Stir together the flour and water in a bowl. This is called a slurry. Add a couple spoons of the hot bourguignon into the slurry and pour it back into the pot. Bring to a boil for five minutes while stirring constantly. You will see the stew thicken and become creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

At this point, you can either serve the boeuf bourguignon now or let it cool and refrigerate it for the next day. I think it is better reheated the next day but sometimes you just can't resist waiting. Serve this dish with fresh pasta, roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes. Bon Appétit!

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