Having a partiality to certain foods can be understandable when it awakens fond memories. Whenever stressed, I think of my happy place and I’m back in Burgundy, France. The food, wine, countryside and beautiful villages are a source of inspiration that I always think about returning to.
Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon) and Escargot were the first classic Burgundian foods I tried while visiting the region. I loved these dishes so much that I ordered them for lunch and dinner on multiple days just so I could try different versions and understand what it would take to make my own. We can read and follow cookbooks all we want, but doesn’t it make you wonder if it’s authentic? I did the same thing with Étouffée. My only reference was a restaurant in Hoboken, NJ and I could only assume it was authentic Étouffée but really wasn’t sure. I could only confirm by eventually traveling to New Orleans and seeking out the real thing. By doing this, I took notes on variations and brought this new found knowledge home with me.
Making Boeuf Bourguignon yourself takes some time and care with the ingredients because shortcuts can take this in an undesirable direction. Your efforts however will definitely be rewarded. Be sure to use a decent Burgundy wine. This tastes even better the following day and can be served with egg noodle or mashed potatoes.
- 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
- 3-1/2 pounds stewing beef (chuck) cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 pound pearl onions
- 3/4 or 1 pound of button mushrooms halved
- 4 carrots cut into slices
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 3 cups of Burgundy Wine (Pinot Noir) Be sure it’s a good quality wine. A Village Appellation of Burgundy is what I use.
- 3 cups of beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- bouquet garni
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Cut beef into cubes and cut the bacon into small pieces.
- Cook the bacon in a a dutch oven over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the bacon and set aside. Leave only about 2 tbsp of fat.
- Increase heat to medium-high and cook the beef in small batches. Brown on all sides and be sure to not overcrowd the pan because the beef won’t cook properly.
- In a separate heavy frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and cook the pearl onions. Stir frequently until slightly golden and set aside.
- In same frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add mushrooms. Sauté until golden and set aside.
- When the batches of beef are done, pour off all the leftover fat and add 1 tbsp of butter. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned (3 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over and cook about 2 more minutes.
- Add the wine, tomato paste and bouquet garni and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Add the beef and bacon that where set aside and add the beef stock. Cover and simmer for about 3 hours and be sure to stir once in a while.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Add the pearl onions and sautéed mushrooms and simmer for 30 more minutes.
Skim extra fat off the surface. This tastes even better the next day and you can skim the fat easier when entirely cooled off. I see Beef Burgundy served with egg noodles but mashed potatoes are incredible with this too.