Passion Project: Classic Beef Bourguignon

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There’s no getting around it… If you want to eat homemade beef bourguignon, it will take you an awful lot of time. No matter how you slice it, you will have to let the dish come together in a pot for a few hours. So this dish is definitely not a spur-of-the-moment kind of recipe. But fear not, it actually doesn’t require much time in the kitchen. Most of the hours of preparation are actually hands-off. Be it the overnight marinade, or the 3 hours spent in the oven, it isn’t begging for too much attention.

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So what is beef bourguigon anyways? It’s one of the most classic French dishes there is! A pure product of the French gastronomy, where beef is slowly braised in red wine and served alongside vegetables and lard. As stated in the name, it originated in the Burgundy region of France, which is well-known for their wine production. Back in the day, this dish was a “peasant” dish. Indeed, the “low and slow” cooking method was used to break down and tenderize cheaper/tougher pieces of meat. It then became a true classic, reinvented over and over again by modern chefs.

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This was my first time tackling this traditional recipe. Until then, I had always been too intimidated by the tedious process and foresight needed. Additionally, it’s simply not a recipe that I tend to think about. You’d be surprised how rarely French people actually eat beef bourguignon. I personally can probably count that amount on both of my hands. It doesn’t make it any less delicious of course. Everytime I have it I am reminded of how great French gastronomy truly is. But then again it is a time consuming recipe and so I’m much more likely to have it at a restaurant than homemade. If you do take the leap of faith and try it though, you definitely want to prepare it a day ahead of eating it. It gets even better as time goes on!

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What makes it so special? Like all French recipes, it takes time, love, and good ingredients (read: wine!). The meat is first marinated in red wine overnight. This tenderizes it, as the tanins in the wine help break down the muscle tissues, and infuses it with flavor. The chunks are then pan seared to give them a nice color and crust. Finally, they are braised in the reserved wine marinade for hours until the meat falls apart and becomes fork tender. The wine further cooks down through the process and thickens the sauce, while adding a depth of flavor. It’s a delicious recipe for a special ocassion. Well worth the effort if you’re looking for something a little bit different. It’ll send you right to Burgundy at first bite. Bon appétit!

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Total time: 30 minutes (hands-on), 3hr (cooking) + overnight marinade

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. beef chuck, cubed
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp flour
  • olive oil
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 1 potato, mashed (or a few boiled fingerling ones)
  • 1 oz lardons (or pancetta)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Marinade

  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3-1/2 bottle red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. The night before: prepare the marinade. Cut the carrot and onion in medium chunks, and smash the garlic clove. Put them in a deep tupperware, and add the beef chunks with the aromatics (bay leaf, rosemary and thyme) on top. Add a pinch of salt and some black pepper, pour red wine until everything is just covered, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Meanwhile, separate the wine, veggies and meat from the marinade and set aside. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Then, brown the meat for a few minutes.
  4. Take the chunks out of the pot, replace them with the veggies and let them brown in the remaining fat for a few minutes.
  5. Add back the meat, and sprinkle with the flour. Toss well, and place the pot in the oven (uncovered) for 4 minutes.
  6. Take the pot out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°F. Cover the meat with wine, broth, and tomato paste, and bring to a simmer on the stove.
  7. Return the pot to the oven (covered), and cook for about 3h30, or until the meat is fork tender. The sauce will have reduced and thickened by then.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Heat the lardons in a large pan. When they start releasing fat, add the mushrooms to brown. Reduce the heat and let them caramelize slowly.
  9. (optional) Boil fingerling potatoes for 10-12 min and peel them.
  10. To plate, start with the beef and garnish with the mushrooms, lardons, potatoes, and freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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Temps Total: 30 minutes (en cuisine), 3hr (cuisson) + marinade la veille

Ingrédients

  • 150g de bœuf à braiser
  • 1/4 tasse de fond de veau
  • 1 c.c de concentré de tomates
  • 1 c.c de farine
  • huile d’olive
  • une poignée de champignons de Paris
  • quelques petites pommes de terre
  • 20g de lardons
  • sel et poivre

Ingrédients pour la Marinade

  • 1/4 d’oignon jaune
  • 1 carotte
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 1/3-1/2 bouteille de vin
  • 1 feuille de laurier
  • 1 brin de romarin
  • 3 brins de thym
  • sel et poivre

Étapes:

  1. La veille: préparez la marinade. Coupez la carotte et l’oignon en morceaux de taille moyenne, et écrasez la gousse d’ail. Mettez les dans un tupperware profond. Ajoutez ensuite la viande en cubes et les herbes. Assaisonnez d’une bonne pincée de sel et de poivre, recouvrez le tout avec le vin rouge, et réservez au frigo pendant la nuit.
  2. Préchauffez le four à 230°C.
  3. Filtrez la marinade en séparant les légumes et la viande. Réservez le vin. Faites chauffer de l’huile dans une casserole. Séchez les pièces de bœuf avec du papier absorbant et faites les saisir dans la casserole pendant quelques minutes.
  4. Sortez la viande, et remplacez la par les légumes. Laissez les dorer quelques minutes.
  5. Remettez alors la viande dans la casserole, et saupoudrez de farine. Mélangez le tout et mettez la casserole au four pour 4 minutes.
  6. Sortez la casserole du four et réduisez la température à 160°C. Mouillez la viande avec le vin jusqu’à ce que le tout soit juste recouvert. Ajoutez le fond de veau et le concentré de tomates. Faites frémir.
  7. Remettez la casserole au four (avec un couvercle), et laissez cuire pendant 3h30 environ. Le bœuf sera alors tendre à souhait et la sauce aura bien réduit.
  8. Pendant ce temps, préparez la garniture. Coupez les champignons en quarts. Faites revenir les lardons dans une sauteuse. Lorsqu’ils commencent à rejeter du gras, ajoutez les champignons. Baissez la température et laissez le tout caraméliser.
  9. (optionnel) Faites bouillir des petites pommes de terre 10-12 minutes et pelez les.
  10. Pour le dressage, commencez par le bœuf, ajoutez les garnitures et recouvrez de sauce. Décorez de quelques feuilles de persil. Bon appétit!

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