Boeuf Bourguignon

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Boeuf Bourguignon

This dish is so flavourful, so elegant, and surprisingly simple.

I’ve moved abroad a few times now, so I no longer do the whole “going away party” partially because it feels a bit narcissistic, and partially because you don’t actually get quality time with people who matter at one of those events.

Once, before up and moving, I got together with a friend of mine, Leonard, who made me my first ever Bourguignon.  We drank one of his best bottles,ate til we burst, and chatted well into the night, as I feel the French intended, when creating this dish.

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I actually made it with ingredients already in my fridge, so there are a few things I’d do differently if shopping specifically in preparation for this dish:  I’d use different onions and carrots to the ones shown in the images.  I’ve written the recipe with ideal ingredients in mind.  However, if you use the simple ones I did, it won’t change the flavour at all.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs stewing beef (I used one marinated in red wine and herbs, but this is not necessary), cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 15 pearl onions, peeled (have fun!)
  • 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 5 baby carrots (the long, slim, natural looking ones, not those horrible stubby ones), washed but not peeled or cut
  • 2 1/2 cups full bodied red wine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lbs dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 lbs fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp thyme (fresh, if possible)
  • 1 tsp rosemary (fresh is almost always best when it comes to herbs)
  • 1 tsp oregano (do I need to say it again)
  • 1/8 lbs bacon (rashers), I used smoked
  • salt & pepper

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Directions:

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Sautee pearl onions, baby carrots, and fresh mushrooms until softened.  Set aside.

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On a small plate, spread out the flour, add salt & pepper, and coat each piece of beef before browning in the frying pan already on the stove.  Set aside

De-glaze pan with 1.5 cups red wine.  Add stock, balsamic vinegar, whisk in tomato paste.  Add dried shiitake mushrooms.  The reason I’ve instructed adding these in with the fresh, is because they are completely different in flavour and texture.  You’ll see.  Add regular carrots and onion.  Add herbs.  Re-add beef.

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Choose your own adventure:

A) If you have 5 hours before dinner: Simmer for half an hour.  Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining wine.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Taste, add salt & pepper.  Re-add pearl onions, baby carrots, fresh mushrooms, and serve over a bed of Fluffy Feta Mashed Potatoes.

B) If you have 2 hours before dinner: Simmer on stove for 1 hour.   Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining wine.  Cook on high for 40 minutes.  Taste, add salt & pepper.  Re-add pearl onions, baby carrots, fresh mushrooms, and serve over a bed of Fluffy Feta Mashed Potatoes.  However, I’d recommend leaving the leftovers in the slow cooker, and allowing to cook on low for another couple of hours.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Something French, and red, naturally.

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