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Beouf Bourginon –
from a variety of sources including Julia Child, Clotilde Dusoulier and Robert Carrier.
The wine used can be a good Burgundy, a young Chianti or even Pinot Noir. I’ve used Renault cognac here. Different recipes use different amounts of wine and beef stock, and then there are recipes which don’t use stock at all. Ideally use equal amounts of red wine and beef stock (about 2-3 cups each). However, since I ran out of cognac, the recipe below uses only about 1 cup of it.
The beef chunks need to be dried in paper towels; any dampness will prevent them from browning. The consistency of the stew depends on your taste really. i wanted something runny instead of thick and gravy-like so I added about 1 tablespoon of flour. If you require the gravy to be thick, increase the amount of flour to 2 tablespoons and for the last 20 minutes of cooking time in the oven, remove the lid and turn up the oven temperature.
Boeuf Bourgignon is best with steamed rice or crusty bread. Can be served with buttered noodles as well.
1 pound button mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp butter
2 strips of un-smoked bacon, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
3 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef chuck, cut into 2″ cubes
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp flour (see head note)
1 cup cognac, (see head note)
3 cups beef stock (see head note)
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1. Preheat oven to 160 °C (325 °F).
2. In a pan sauté the mushrooms in butter till brown and soft. Keep aside.
3. In a deep-bottomed pot/cesserole, sauté the bacon in 1 tbsp oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Reheat the pan until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef. Sauté the beef in the bacon fat in batches making sure not to crowd the pieces (the pieces need to brown on all sides, not sweat). Add the browned pieces of beef to the bacon. Lower the heat to medium. In the same fat, add the onions, shallots and carrots. Cook till the carrots soften. Add the cooked veggies to the beef and bacon. Pour out the sautéing fat.
4. Return beef to the casserole. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Stir everything around till the flour is cooked and no white traces of it remain. Add the bacon and veggies and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cognac and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the garlic, thyme, parsley, tomato paste and bay leaf. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Cover the casserole and set it in the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. About 1 hour into the cooking add the mushrooms and stir in the cocoa powder. Return to the oven. The stew is done when the meat is fork-soft.
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