Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

After a long time finally back in my own kitchen. This called for a celebration. We wanted something we love, soulfood so to say. Our choice fell on “Boeuf Bourguignonne” à la Julia Child.

As is the case with most stews there are different opinions about the best meat and best way how to prepare it. Personally, I prefer for my stews not too lean meat pieces, I like it a bit marbled thus the meat doesn`t dry out and we can have a tasty sauce.

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The recipe (“Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Page 290-292) is actually quite simple, good piece of meat, a few fresh ingredients, a bottle of red wine, and off you go.

I like to rinse the meat with cold water and dry it with paper towels before I start preparing the dish. Cut the meat into nice big at least 2 inch pieces. Then dry the meat cubes with paper towels and set aside.

Julia Child also uses a thick slice of bacon (about 6 oz/170g), which she boils for 10 minutes in water in beforehand.

Here I cheat a little;) I buy thin slices of our favourite ham (about 2 oz/50-60g), cut those into thin strips and add into the dish without doing anything further with it 😉

I sear the meat well in olive oil and take the meat out onto a plate. Then I sauté the onions and carrots in the same casserole.

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In her book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” Julia Child adds meat and bacon to the vegetables, seasons with salt and pepper and adds 1 oz flour and stirs well before she adds the remaining ingredients.

Here I dare a little deviation. I add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste to the vegetables first. Then I stir in the flour and finally add the meat and bacon. Slowly I pour in the red wine and the broth. I season with salt and pepper and heat up until the fluid starts simmering. Now I can transfer the covered casserole into the preheated oven and let the stew simmer slowly for three to four ours.

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This time I removed the stew after three hours. Shortly before the end I add good sautéed mushrooms. My French friend says that some people add mushrooms, but it also works without mushrooms. If you decide to use mushrooms, please make sure that your pan is large enough to fry the mushrooms nicely.

After more than three hours I stood in the kitchen like the editor of Julia Child in the film version “Julie and Julia”, enjoying the first bite “Boeuf Bourguignonne”. Yumm! Enjoy your beef stew with baguette or potatoes or pasta or rice and red wine :) Bon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

I like the sauce as it is, but you are free to skimm the fat off the sauce and reduce the sauce a little. To do so, please transfer first meat and vegetables into a bowl and keep warm. Then you can easily skim the fat off and boil the sauce until reduced a little and to taste. Before serving pour sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Ingredients

3 lbs/ about 1200 g stewing steak cut into 2 inch cubes, dried with paper towels
Olive oil

2 oz/ about 60 g thinly sliced bacon, cut in stripes

1 onion, cut into cubes
1 carrot, cut into cubes

2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 pint / 500 ml full-bodied red wine, I took a bordeaux
1 pint / 500 ml beef stock

Salt and freshly groud pepper

1/2 lbs/200 g mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in butter (optional)

  1. Heat olive oil in a ovenproof casserole and sear the meat pieces in batches from all sides. Take the meat onto a plate and set aside.Saute onion and carrot in the same casserole.
  2. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste to the vegetables. Stir in the flour until well combined with the other ingredients. Now trasfer meat and bacon into the casserole and stir well.
  3. Slowly pour in the red wine and the broth. Season with salt and pepper and heat until simmering point is reached.
  4. Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Transfer the covered casserole into the preheated oven onto the wire rack and let the stew simmer for three to four hours. Please regulate heat so that the liquid is simmering very slowly.
  5. Add the sautéed mushrooms and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with baguette and red wine. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!
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