I had not made Boeuf Bourguignon in a long time, but was inspired by Conor’s post to make it again. As Conor rightly points out, there is no such thing as an official recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. The only mandatory ingredients are beef (boeuf is indeed French for beef…) and red Burgundy wine. Conor’s recipe looked OK and since he seems to know what he’s writing about I decided to follow his recipe, including using pancetta even though that’s not very French (but I like pancetta better than bacon). I was not disappointed because it turned out delicious and my husband liked it as well. Thanks Conor! The only things I would do differently next time would be: (1) use better beef (I wanted to use proper marbled Irish beef, which would have been very appropriate given the origin of this recipe, but did not have to chance to drive to Amsterdam to get this), (2) add the mushrooms towards the end, and (3) cook for an even longer time in a low oven to make the meat even more tender. I only made about 40% of Conor’s recipe, which yielded about 3 servings. The good part of this was that I could use the same bottle of wine for both cooking and drinking with the dish, which is always a good idea. The pairing was obviously wonderful, as beef bourguignon is the most classic pairing for red burgundy that exists.
For 3 servings
600 grams (1 1/3 pounds) stewing beef, cut into cubes
200 grams (0.44 lbs) carrots, cleaned and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) rounds
200 grams (0.44 lbs) small button mushrooms
200 grams (0.44 lbs) shallots, chopped
200 grams (0.44 lbs) onions, chopped
100 grams (0.22 lbs) pancetta, diced
2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
fresh flatleaf parsley
1/2 bottle of red burgundy wine
200 ml (5/6 cup) beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp flour
Brown the beef in two batches in butter and olive oil in a casserole for which you have a lid.
Take out the beef and add the onions and garlic to the fat. Cover with a lid and let sweat over low heat for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta in a bit of butter.
Add the shallots and keep sauteing.
Add the mushrooms as well. Next time, I will sauté the mushrooms separately and add them at the very end so they will stand out more.
After 20 minutes the onions should be nicely browned. Add 1 Tbsp flour and mix thoroughly. The flour is used to bind the sauce, and thorough mixing is needed to prevent lumps.
Preheat the oven to 75C/165F.
Now add back the beef (including all the juices that leaked out) and add the beef stock, the red wine, a bit of salt, and a bouquet garni. A bouquet garni is thyme, parsley and bay leaf bound together so it will be easier to take it out at the end of the cooking. (The bouquet garni is on top of the stew in the picture, but I submerged it after taking the picture). Bring this to a boil.
As soon as it boils, cover with a lid and put in the oven at 70C/160F until the beef is tender. It was dinner time after 6 hours and the beef was allright, but next time I will leave it in even longer. Putting it in the oven is the easiest way to maintain a temperature of the stew of about 65-70C/150-160F. A higher temperature will make the beef dry, especially if you use lean beef like I did.
I took the beef out of the casserole with a slotted spoon and put it back in the oven on a plate to keep warm, while…
…I let the sauce thicken over medium heat for 10 minutes or so.
Remove the bouquet garni and return the beef to the stew. This is also the point where I will add sauteed mushrooms next time I make this. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with boiled potatoes. Bon appetit!