Satute to Julia, Beef Bourguignon for Daring Cooks

I am absolutely sold on this recipe for Beef Bourguignon.  It is positively, the best. Trust me. Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

The method called for mushrooms and small onions cooked separately to be added at the finish, but I used green beans, since I had some nice fresh ones from the Farmer's Market, and potatoes  just because Bob likes them with beef stew, or anything really. There were no tiny onions available in any case, but when they hit our market I will try caramelizing them, as per the recipe and adding at the finish.

We will be making more on a regular basis.  Tonight for instance.  There is some danger involved however; all those enticing aromas wafting out of your house could attract strangers in off the street. 


From The Daring Cooks Challenge 4/12, from Julia Child's,  Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Ingredients for 6 people:
. 1 x 6 oz (200 gm) chunk of streaky bacon
. Olive oil
. 3 pounds (1. kg) stewing beef cut into 2 inches (5 cm) cubes
. 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
. ½ teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) pepper
. 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) flour
. 3 cups (1½ pint/720 ml) of young red wine.

Suggestions: Bourgogne, of course, but also
Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Rioja etc., depending on your country and your taste. Being Spanish, my choice this time was a good Rioja. It really has to be
a good one but it hasn’t necessarily to be a very expensive one, you know, il ne faut pas exagérer.   Claudia used a nice Shiraz,
as you can see to the left.

. 1 carrot, sliced (I prefer to cut it into chunks, but that's just my taste)
. 1 onion, sliced in julienne
. 1 ½ to 2 cups (¾ to 1 pint/355 to 475 ml) of beef stock or beef bouillon
. 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz/15 gm) tomato paste or tomato puree
. 2 cloves mashed garlic
. ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (1 gm) thyme leaves
. 1 bay leaf (Julia says it has to be crushed, I prefer not to crush it so that I can remove it at the
end of the process)
. The blanched bacon rind
. 18-24 small onions, brown-braised in stock
. 1 pound (½ kg) mushrooms sautéed in butter (Champignons are perfect for this purpose)
. Fresh parsley sprigs to serve

1. Prepare the bacon: Remove the rind. Cut the bacon into lardons (Sticks, ¼ inch thick and ½ inch
(5 mm x 15 mm) long) and simmer everything in 4 cups (1 litre) of water for 10 minutes. Drain
and dry carefully with paper towels.
2. Dry the meat cubes carefully with paper towels.
3. Preheat oven to hot 450ºF/230ºC/gas mark 8
4. In a fireproof casserole or a frying pan, sauté the lardons in a tablespoon of olive oil for 2-3
minutes until they’re lightly brown. Remove them to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
5. In the same casserole/pan, sauté the beef until it’s golden brown. Remove it to the side dish
where you keep the bacon and set aside.

 Note: I used turnips as well as carrot and onion

6. Still in the same casserole/pan, sauté the carrot and the onion.
7. Return the bacon and the beef to the casserole. Sprinkle it with salt and
pepper, then add the flour and toss.
8. Place the casserole/dish uncovered in the middle position of the oven for 4 minutes. This gives
the meat a lovely crust.
9. Remove the casserole/dish from the oven. Stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, mashed garlic
cloves, thyme, bay and the blanched bacon rind.

10. Bring it to simmering point on the stove. Now, if you were using a
frying pan, discard it and put the stew in an oven proof dish.
11. Cover the casserole/dish (If your dish doesn't have a lid, use
aluminum foil and stretch it to the edges of the dish in order to
minimize the loss of juices) and place it low in the oven. Adjust the
heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly, it has to go on for 3-4
12. While the stew is cooking, prepare onions and mushrooms. For the
onions: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and sauté the peeled
onions until golden brown. Add beef stock until they’re almost covered and simmer for 20-25
minutes, or until almost all the liquid disappears and they’re tender but keep their shape. Set
13. Prepare the mushrooms as well: Wash quarter and sauté them in 2 tablespoons butter. Keep on
stirring until they’re nicely brown. Set aside.
14. When meat is tender, put the stew into a sieve over a saucepan, wash out the casserole and
return the stew to it. Put onions and mushrooms over the meat.
15. Skim the fat off the sauce. Put the saucepan on the stove and simmer it for 2-3 minutes. Skim
additional fat if it rises. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If not, boil it until it
thickens. If it’s too thick, stir in some stock or bouillon to make it lighter.
16. Pour the sauce over the stew. Put the casserole on the stove or in the oven and reheat for 2-3
minutes. Serve it in the casserole with some sprigs of fresh parsley. Some goods sides are
potatoes, noodles or rice.

Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips: You can keep leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you want to
freeze it, it lasts up to 3 months.
. This recipe gives its best when prepared in a Dutch oven (Aka cocotte, cast iron casserole, or
simply casserole). It’s not mandatory to have one, I know it’s an expensive thing but if you
really love to cook, it is an excellent investment. Otherwise, an oven proof dish with a lid, or
sealed with aluminum foil, will do the trick.
. I confess sometimes I skip the skimming process. If you don’t use too much oil or butter and
you remove all the fat from the meat, it is not mandatory at all (this is just my opinion)
. Some people add, 10 minutes before serving, a couple of spoonfuls of beurre manié (A paste
made of 50% flour and 50% butter) in order to thicken the sauce and make it look more
brilliant. I don’t add it cause I like the sauce just the way it is, but if you heard about it and
want to try, please feel free to do it.
 I know some people hate mushrooms. If this is your case, just don’t add them. And have no
sense of guilt at all.

And, Claudia's note:
As you know by now, I didn't feel any guilt at all, using my green beans and potatoes, last week.  Tonight for a reprise however, it will be caramelized onions, turnips and carrots, cooked separately and added at the finish (photo on the left).  Mine went four hours both times, and was perfectly tender.

Visit the Daring Cooks site and see how everyone's dishes turned out, with all the variations that usually happen


Tisa Jacob said...

Great job with your Bouef, Julia! I love the additions of green beans and potatoes. You own this dish :)

Suz said...

I bet the potatoes were delicious after simmering in that beautiful sauce. I'm a big fan of vegetable-packed stews as well. Great dish!