Boeuf Bourguignon, Pot au feu, Braised lamb shoulder… are all recipes I save for the colder months when it’s lovely to have the house warmed with the slow-cooking atmosphere and flooded with the rich aromas of the dishes for hours long.
And so from November to February I make Boeuf Bourguignon at least once a month. It’s rich, soul-satisfying and a definite Boyfriend pleaser (scroll down and you will see what I mean by that… 😉 ). There are a few key details to remember when making the stew: Be sure to brown the meat well in the beginning, use a good quality & heavy red wine that you would happily drink, and, if possible, make it a day in advance to let the flavours develop…
Having said that: Both Den & I never have enough patience to wait for the next day before eating our first plate of Boeuf Bourguignon so I always cook enough for two days 😉 And I advise you to do the same especially for a such a dish that requires hours of slow cooking. Then you will get to taste the difference between Day 1 and Day 2 and it’s totally worth it!
See what I meant…
That hearty French casseroles involves cooking beef slowly with wine, herbs and bacon. There are as many methods as there are cooks but this is the one I use:
French Boeuf Bourguignon:
Serves 4 (or 2 over two days)
Cooking time: 4hr
– 1 bottle Red wine
– 400ml beef stock
– 2tbsp Madeira
– 15 tiny pearl onions
– 3tbsp plain flour
– 2tbsp olive oil
– 2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 celery stalks
– 3 carrots, sliced
– 3 dried bay leaf
– a small bunch of fresh thym
– 1kg of beef chuck, cut into 5cm chunks
– 300gr bacon, cut into thick slices
– salt & pepper
– 400gr white mushrooms
– tagliatelle, preferably fresh or cooked potatoes (to serve)
Toss the chuck of beef, cut into large pieces, in seasoned flour. Let it colour in a little oil and butter in a heavy casserole. Remove the meat from the pan and add the pearl onions, carrots & celery. Brown lightly. When golden, remove and set aside.
Add the bacon to the pan and cook until soft and pale gold. Now return the beef & vegetables to the pan with the garlic, the bay leaves, the thyme, the red wine, madeira and beef stock.
Season and simmer for a good 2 hours, until the meat is tender. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for hour.
Serve with freshly made tagliatelle or steamed potatoes and enjoy with a big glass of Red wine 😉
Since we are basically talking about beef stew, Pinot Noir immediately comes to my mind. But you can easily expand the list to include any other red wine than has sufficient tannins to counter the rich and tender stewed beef.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
The meat is soooo tender! The wine really brings all the ingredients together into a delicious mix of meat, herbs and vegetables. What else is there to say but that it makes for great Winter food and that it made me a happy man! Warning once you start you won’t be able to stop so beware of not eating too much of it…