KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Boeuf in Bourgogne
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Boeuf in Bourgogne

Once again, another heavy summer meal but when in Rome...or Burgundy as the case may be. The Burgundian or Bourgogne culinary specialties include their world class wines that I mentioned last post, escargots (yes, snails! blech!)...

...and the ubiquitous Beef Bourguignonne—a fancy way of saying beef stew from Burgundy or beef stew cooked with Burgundy-grown wine.

"Stew" and it's many variations were very intimidating to me when I was first learning to cook. Actually most any recipe with more than 4 ingredients and 3 steps was intimidating but I digress. Now it's one of my favorites to make on a bone-chilling day and soup just won't cut it. There are a few basic steps for beef bourguignonne or any stew really. 1. brown meat, 2. sauté veggies, 3. add wine (or liquid), cover and cook. That's it.

Make it ahead of time and reheat over low heat and use decent wine or wine that you would actually drink. If you add bad wine, the stew will be bad. There's no hiding it. There are good, non-budget-breaking wines out there, you have to search a bit more in the states though. This recipe of course calls for Burgundy wine (which is made from pinot noir grapes) but a chewy cabernet sauvignon would be great here as well. The following recipe is closer to tradition however when we had it last week in Burgundy it included red and green peppers and zucchini. Technically that would make it more of a Provencal beef stew but it was freezing, we were sitting outside and it was starting to rain... Don't ask. Just eat.

Beef Bourguignonne

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
olive oil

2 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1" dice
1 basket button mushrooms
4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1" dice (keep the veggies the same size for even cooking)
2 onions, cut into 1" dice

1 zucchini, cut into 1" dice (optional)
1 red pepper, cut into 1" dice (optional) seeds removed
1 green pepper, cut into 1" dice (optional) seeds removed

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium preferably (beef stock makes it too rich for me but you might like it)
2 cups red wine (such as a Burgundy or cabernet sauvignon)
3 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Salt and pepper the beef cubes and flour very lightly. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.

2. Brown all sides of the beef cubes, letting each side turn a golden brown—that should take a few minutes. Don't overcrowd the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Set beef aside in a bowl as you cook them.

3. Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine and pour into bowl with beef.

4. Add olive oil to pan and slightly brown the veggies.

5. Add the beef and juice back to pan, add the broth, wine, herbs and bring the liquid to a boil.

6. Turn down the heat until the liquid is simmering, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Check after 45 minutes for consistency and doneness of veggies. Cook until it has reached the consistency you like.

Serve with mashed potatoes or if you are looking for something a little different, soft polenta.

A little trick to make the sauce shiny and unctuous is to strain out the meat and veggies then heat up the remaining sauce and whisk in a few tablespoons of cold butter chunks. You can also thicken the sauce by stirring in a few tablespoons at a time of bread crumbs.

Bon Appetite de Bourgogne.

PS: In case you are wondering where exactly Burgundy is in France, here you go...



Anonymous Derrick Schneider said...

Too bad it's hard to get Charolais beef here. Then we could really get the authentic experience.

8/26/2005 1:04 PM

Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

hi derrick, you're right! i had charolais beef (from charolais cows in burgundy) for the first time this summer and it was incredible...the french version of kobe beef. try prather meat at the ferry bldg - it's not charolais but it's pretty darn good!

10/08/2005 12:47 AM

Blogger Dana said...

There's plenty of great, cheap, relatively genuine PN to be found in the supermarket. Smoking Loon PN is $6 at Safeway and outstanding for this dish and, especially, Coq au Vin.

Great article - cheer!


11/13/2005 8:58 PM

Blogger Expat said...

Baah to Smoking Loon!Use any beaujolais wine the aroma makes it fantastic

2/28/2008 9:20 AM


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