01.01.2003 -simmered dishes - beef
Traditional beef bourguignon
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Despite my love for simmered dishes, I have to proclaim the appalling truth: “the Dukes of Burgundy shamefully stole the recipe for Flemish stew when they occupied Flanders. Since they didn’t have any good beer, they resorted to wine…” That’s how we can rewrite the history of an excellent dish!
For this recipe, I made myself follow an academic recipe that was made according to the rules of art. I did some research and took inspiration from the recipe suggested in the "Burgundy" volume of the Inventory of French Culinary Heritage.
It is not the easiest or most practical version but we often learn a lot when we follow this kind of recipe. It is distinctive because it does not include carrots but it does include mushrooms.
Here is the first version of this recipe. I will give you other versions that are more or less simple or adapted by great chefs during the next few weeks.
- Peel onion and shallots and mince
- Make a bouquet garni with thyme, bay leaf and flat parsley.
- Cut meat into 2in (5cm) cubes and put them in a large salad bowl
- Pour over meat 2tbsps of oil and red wine.
- Mix well
- Pour over meat Marc de Bourgogne, the equivalent of one tablespoon of ground pepper, the bouquet garni, minced shallots and onion and mix well.
- Cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for 18 hours in the refrigerator, stirring from time to time.
- Remove beef cubes from the marinade, let them drain and wipe them
- Melt 2 ½ oz (75g) butter in a pan over high heat.
- Brown beef cubes on all sides for 3 to 4 minutes. All sides should be slightly browned. To make it easier, brown the first half of the cubes and then the second half. It is not always easy to brown a large amount of meat at the same time. This is an important step in cooking because it will keep the meat from falling apart during long cooking.
- Put cubes on a grill and keep the cooking juice.
- Filter the marinade and keep the juice.
- Remove the bouquet garni leaving only the onion and shallots
- Peel and press garlic cloves
- Heat 1oz (25g) of butter in a pot
- Add onion and shallots from the marinade and cook for 2 minutes
- Add pieces of meat with one tablespoon of flour
- Mix well and turn pieces of meat
- Add the cooking juice from the meat, pressed garlic cloves, veal knuckle and marinade juice so that it covers all of the meat. If you do not have enough wine/marinade juice, you can add some beef bouillon
- Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes
- Add the bouquet garni
- Put over low heat, cover and let it cook for 2 hours. Open from time to time to skim and remove grease.
Preparation of vegetables:
- Remove rind from salt pork and cut it into lardons
- Peel pearl onions
- Melt the remaining butter in a small pan over medium heat
- Brown lardons for 5 minutes without covering
- Add pearl onions, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until they are golden but not browned.
- Remove onions and lardons and put mushrooms (that you have already put lemon juice on to avoid darkening) in the pan
- Let them soften for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove mushrooms
- Add lardons, mushrooms and pearl onions and pour them into the large pot after 2 hours cooking time.
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes then finish cooking uncovered for one hour to reduce sauce to correct consistency.
- Serve from the pot in the middle of the table with new steamed potatoes.
SuggestionNeedless to say, like all good simmered dishes, it will be even better reheated the next day. In fact, that should be written in a law!
I even suggest that you always prepare it the day before serving.
This is a very convivial dish and I suggest that you serve it when you invite friends. You put the pot in the middle of the table and you will see your guests’ eyes light up at the first taste. As a matter of interest, I have even seen “almost complete vegetarians” giving into the irresistible temptation to taste the sauce.
Suggested drink or winesYou need a wine that can hold up to the taste explosion.
I suggest a Vacqueyras domaine Clos des Cazaux Cuvée Saint Roch 2000 or Cornas domaine J. Durand.
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