Sunday, July 31, 2011

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon - A Simplified Version

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Beff Bourguignon is one of my favorite beef stews and one that I have made quite a number of times. For this reason, I've managed to to figure out how to simplify the recipe without having to involve both the stove top and the oven during the cooking process. Another important thing to remember is that the flavor of the stew depends a lot on the kind of wine you use. For this recipe, I used a French red wine although any good red wine will do. Just remember that whatever wine you use has to be something that you would want to drink. I certainly enjoyed drinking the rest of the red wine I bought to make this recipe. I also managed to obtain fresh thyme for the bouquet garni and it certainly lent a more intense aromatic scent to the dish. 

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The recipe I used is based on Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cuisine. I also have another version of the recipe from my Good Housekeeping cookbook which is where I learned how to simplify the cooking process of this dish. I hope that you give this a try. It is certainly one beef stew that you will love. 

*Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon - Adapted

6 oz bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
3 lb lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
2-3 carrot, sliced lengthwise
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du
   Rhone or Burgundy)
2 - 3 cups beef stock
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
18 to 24 white onions, small
2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one bay leaf, one sprig thyme, tied  
   in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms

1. Sauté bacon in 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot over moderate heat  
    for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove with a slotted 
    spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium high.

2. Dry beef with paper towels and coat with flour. Add beef, a few 
    pieces at a time into the hot fat and brown on all sides. You will 
    have to do this in batches.

3. In the same pot, brown the garlic and onions over medium heat. 
    Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with 1/2 tsp salt 
    and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the bouquet garni.

4. Stir in wine and 2 cups stock or just enough so that the meat is barely 
    covered. Simmer for two hours over low heat. Add the carrots and 
    simmer for another 30 minutes.

5. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. In a  
    skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter and add one cup of 
    water. Simmer the  onions covered for 10 minutes. Cook uncovered 
    until the liquid has evaporated and the onions have browned. 
    Set aside.

5. In the same skillet, do the same for the mushrooms and simmer in  
    butter and water for 10 minutes. Remove cover and let the liquid 
    evaporate. Do not brown. Set aside. 

6. Check the meat for tenderness. If the meat is tender enough that a 
    fork pierces it easily, add the onions, mushrooms and the tomato 
    paste. Check for flavor and bring to a simmer for another 30 minutes.

7. Serve hot and garnish with chopped parsley.

*Child, J.; Bertholle, L.; Beck, S., Mastering the Art of French Cooking; Alfred A. Knopf, 1961

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