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DigiBites: Stormy On Capitol Hill, Stormy In The 24/680 – Time For Boeuf Bourguignon!

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Epicurean Exchange Culinary Travel is departing for the Burgundy region of France for our 2018 Food and Wine Tour beginning on April 21 and, in anticipation of our travels, I am presenting my carefully honed version of Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy). This dish can be complicated, but over the years I have revised the recipe to make it more approachable, but still retains all the luscious features of this dish – one of the best ever concocted by man – according to Julia Child.

Again, the key to this dish is great ingredients – beef, wine, stock and flavorings. The finishing (seasoning and proper thickness of the sauce), as described, is critical for best results. Make sure that when you add the wine and stock, that it just covers the meat, and add more if necessary during cooking. If there is too much liquid the sauce will be too thin and you have to add more slurry to reach the proper thickness. A slurry (cornstarch and water combined), is a “Julia approved” method to thicken a sauce at the end of cooking. Be sure the cornstarch is dissolved in water (1 tablespoon cornstarch to 1/4 cup water) and not added dry as the clumps will never dissolve properly.

We will undoubtedly be preparing this dish while we are in France and will post our results! If you would like to follow us during our travels, LIKE Epicurean Exchange on Facebook and Instagram as we will be posting daily experiences for our followers!

Our next tour of Burgundy is scheduled for September 15 – 22, 2019. See the website for a day-by-day itinerary. Space is limited for this extraordinary week!

Au revoir! – Chef Charlie/Orinda Calif.

Boeuf Bourguignon
(Beef Stew in Red Wine with Carrots, Pearl Onions, Mushrooms)

As is the case with most famous dishes, there are many ways to arrive at a good Boeuf Bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner.  Fortunately, you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated. – Julia Child

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups hearty red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 to 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 18 small white pearl onions
  • 12 white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • Slurry (1 part cornstarch to 2 parts water)

• Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown properly if damp. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderate heat. Working in batches, brown the beef, several pieces at a time, in the oil until nicely browned on all sides. Be careful to manage the fond (or brown bits) and temperature in the pan, and don’t let them get too dark.

• Return the beef to the pot and increase heat to medium-high. Season with the salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the flour on the beef and stir the beef to coat with the flour. Sauté for 2 – 3 minutes to brown the flour.

• Add in the wine and deglaze by scraping the bottom of the pan (with a wooden spatula) to release the brown bits. Add enough beef stock to cover the meat.  dd the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to simmer, cover the pan and simmered very slowly for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

• Meanwhile, blanch the onions in boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes; remove to a bowl of cool water.  Carefully remove the root and peel the onions. Heat a skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter, and slowly sauté the onions for 10 – 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove onions from the skillet and repeat with the mushrooms.  Remove from heat and set aside.  20 minutes before the beef is done, add the carrots.

• The meat is done when the meat is very tender. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.  If too thin, add the cornstarch and water slurry and whisk together.  If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of water.

• Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste and add the minced parsley.

Serves 6 – 8

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