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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recipes to Rival: Boeuf Bourguignon

Dear Fellow Recipes to Rivalers,
it's autumn here. as always, i love seeing autumn in pictures but i don't necessarily like being in the midst of autumn. i waited till the last possible day to make my pot of boeuf bourguignon, it was warm in the early part of the month and i wanted there to be a chill in the air while the beef simmered in the wine sauce. alas, the day before BB-Day, it was wet and dreary. the day off tho, it warmed up considerably, allowing for a lovely leisurely stroll thru Mt. Vernon during a weekend long book fair. figures.


i have a few confessions to make. 1. i can't say that i am a Julia Child fan. i thought her speech was weird and as a kid, had i stood next to her, i honestly would've thought she was a gigantic monster. 2. i do not like red wine so cooking with it is not my idea of good use of my time or good meat that cost me money, as evidenced by my abyssmal attempt back in april with chicken. 3. i thought the movie Julie/Julia was too long, both characters (julie and julia) to be whiny and for the love of god, how in the world did the girl fall asleep while her boeuf bourguignon was in the oven?! (i also did not have the inclination to chug from the bottle of wine as i poured it into my pot.)


my main thing was that on BB-Day i realized i don't have a casserole pan/pot/dish that can be used on the stove top AND in the oven. i'm just not that kitchen equipped (yet!). further, i wasn't sure how i felt about leaving my oven on while i was traipsing in the city, browsing books and eating funnel cake (that was so yum, btw). my twitter friends said it was ok, especially on low 325, but nuria was freaked out and her freaking out spread to me freaking out and i compromised and put the damn thing in a crockpot. she was still apprehensive but i've left my crockpot on all day before and really, they're designed for that!

coming home a few hours later with arms full of books (btw, bought two cookbooks. nuria and i are determined to make 1 recipe/book/week.), we were not hungry as we had pigged the EFF out on funnel cake. so i let it simmer, completed the mushroom and onions step. put it all together and what do you get? utter deliciousness. damn thing took all day to finish and it tasted like it did. the butter in the mushroom and onions hurt my stomach (i hate being a lactard) but the meat was tender, the sauce was divine (i chose a red from Four Sisters) and i can't complain about how it turned out. Jason liked my Beef in Beer Stew better whereas Nuria liked this better. My account rep at work, Steve, really liked this as well. will i make this again... eh. there are other just as tasty beef stews out there that takes less time to come together. i will say that Julia Child knew her shit.


Thanks to our hostess Heather of Randomosity and the Girl
Until next time, keep your stove clean and hot!
Angry Asian

Please click on "Read More" for full recipe.

for more boeuf bourguignon, hit the blogroll.

Boeuf Bourguignon
Yield: For 6 people

A 6-ounce chunk of bacon
1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil
3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes (see Notes)
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tb flour
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as one of those suggested for serving, or a Chianti
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 Tb tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ tsp thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
The blanched bacon rind
18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock
1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter
Parsley sprigs

Remove bacon rind and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, ¼ inch thick and 1½ inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.

Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2½ to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

FOR LATER SERVING: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About I5 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

Equipment: A 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep and a slotted spoon

Cuts of Meat for Stewing:

The better the meat, the better the stew. While cheaper and coarser cuts may be used, the following are most recommended. Count on one pound of boneless meat, trimmed of fat, for two people; three if the rest of the menu is large.

First choice: Rump Pot Roast (Pointe de Culotte or Aiguillette de Rumsteck)

Other choices: Chuck Pot Roast (Paleron or Macreuse a Pot-au-feu), Sirloin Tip (Tranche Grasse), Top Round (Tende de Tranche), or Bottom Round (Gîte a la Noix).

Vegetable and Wine Suggestions:

Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux-St. Émilion, or Burgundy.


  1. We loved this stew too.& I'm with you on the movie how in the heck did she ruin this dish!?

  2. I love your honesty in this, and I'm excited to see what you make from your new cookbooks! <3

  3. My husband liked my pot roast recipe better, but he daid this was really good! Yours looks wonderful!

  4. I am glad you had a cool day to eat it. It looks great- you always do a great job.

  5. Great job on the challenge. It looks delicious! Love your post!

  6. Bwahaha. I love how you know you hate things cooked in red wine, yet you still made it anyway. Try osso bucco. It's cooked in white wine. :)

  7. You left yourself next to no time and still pulled it off:-). That's the sign of a serious cook. Your photos are terrific. have a great day. I refuse to say bon appetite, so have a great day.

  8. ah good ol' autumn. we're just starting to get the first autumn winds here in london so finally starting to look like a/w 09 :D anyway have yet to see the film but i do want to see it soon and see what the fuss is all about. lovely dish by the way ;) x

  9. This looks delicious. By the way, I felt the same way about the movie. And I'd have a panic attack if I left the oven on all day. The crock pot I can do, but I think about it the entire time I'm at work and always expect to come home to a burned down apartment. Sigh.

  10. Mmm, autumn dish! As always, I love the little back story and commentary that goes along with your recipes :)

  11. I am with you on Julia, strange voice, really tall and knew how to cook. The lactose intolerant thing must be really hard. I am not sure what I would do with out butter and cream. A friend of mine suggested using a good tea instead of red wine, I am thinking I am thinking I will try that soon and see how it turns out.

    Any way great job and great pictures (I like the fall ones especialy)

  12. glad you liked it. and I will be going over to check your beef/ beer stew too.

  13. kat, all that goodness burned! just terrible.

    jen, you're so sweet, thanks.

    madam chow, maybe our men realize just how much effort goes into a dish like this and prefer the quiet, easy comfort of simple stews like pot roast and beef in beer? or their tastebuds just aren't as cultivated as Julia Child? either way, yay for our men for eating our food anyway!

    Lori, thank you! it was a great challenge.

    Tracy, thank you!

    Heather B, thank you for hosting!

    Chi WC, Osso bucco is next on my list of things to make. thank goodness for white wine!

    Mary, haha, thank you!

    Diva, thank you, hopefully it's beautifully fall for you in London right now!

    Chocolate&Whine, yes i think about my crock pot on while i'm at work but it's gotta be done on cold days, so you have something warm (and hopefully not burned down) to come home to... sometimes, when it's done right, the all day anxiety is worth it at the end of the day...

    aliza, thank you!

    Temperance, thank you! and the tip about using tea, how utterly INTERESTING!

    maybelle's mom, thank you!

  14. Bwahaha. I love how you know you hate things cooked in red wine, yet you still made it anyway. Try osso bucco. It's cooked in white wine. :)

  15. I am glad you had a cool day to eat it. It looks great- you always do a great job.

  16. My husband liked my pot roast recipe better, but he daid this was really good! Yours looks wonderful!