Monday, February 2, 2015

Snowy Day Recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon

The blizzard that hit Chicago yesterday called for some serious comfort food. So, on a snowy Super Bowl Sunday, the boyfriend and I decided to dust off a Julia Child's cookbook and create some culinary magic in the form of Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. The result was the hands-down, best thing we (mostly my bf) have ever made.

So much so, that I thought I'd share it with you all. It's takes some time to prepare, but it's well worth it.


One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (we used a Burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white pearl onions
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (four parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, quartered

  • Cooking Directions:

    Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    Saute lardons in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. 

    Remove to a side dish.

    Dry beef in paper towels or a cloth -- it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost 
    smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and saute until browned on all sides. Then, add the lardons.

    In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

    Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

    Sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

    Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes.

    Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

    Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.

    Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

    Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

    While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

    Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.

    Add onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible.

    Add 1/2 cup of stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

    Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

    Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.

    Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

    When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve and set over a saucepan.

    Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

    Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute, skimming off additional fat as it rises. 

    You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

    Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
    Et, volia! La plat parfait pour une journée froide!

    We also roasted some fingerling potatoes as a side. Basted them in olive oil and sprinkled them with thyme.