Bonjour mes amis
I love all things french, France, Paris, French language, French accent, the eifel tower, the louvre, croissants, French men, French cheese, and Pepe le Pew. And I have been wanting to make this dish ever since Julia Child made it famous/popular long before I was born, but the name alone terrified me.
I can’t even pronounce it and it’s french for god’s sake and we all know anything French is not just sophisticated and stylish but also complicated, and my best dishes are bought from K.mart on specials!! So I just forgot about it. Go forward to June 2020. I was looking on the internet for inspiration and you’ll never guess what I came a cross, yep, that’s right, you guessed the beef Bourguignon recipe by Julia Child.
I decided to google the name Bourguignon and here is a bit of trivia Bourguignon is a region in the east of France (known as Burgundy in the English-speaking world). They make wine there and guess what the name of it’s capital is? Merlot? Chablis? No Dijon! as in mustard. Once I learnt that piece of trivia I had a laugh and relaxed. This recipe is actually easy and it has been broken down by cafe delight and then me. You don’t even have to have a dutch oven, but if you do then definitely use it. I only bought my first one this year in February.
I did change the recipe a little to suit my family’s needs but very little.
I don’t eat bacon so I left it out and it tasted fine to us. I used 3 cups of wine and 2 cups of beef stock, the flavour is outstanding. I didn’t have bay leaves so I didn’t use them. I used chuck steak and I didn’t make the sauce, but I left the recipe in there in case anyone would like to make the sauce.
Bon appétit mes amis
1 tablespoon olive oil
170g bacon, roughly chopped
1 1/2 beef brisket, trimmed of fat (chuck steak or stewing beef) cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons flour
5 eschalot (baby onions)
3 cups red wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or a Chianti -- for a milder sauce, use only 2 cups of wine
2-3 cups beef stock (if using 2 cups of wine, use 3 cups beef stock)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 beef stock cube, crushed
4 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)
2 bay leaves
500 fresh small button mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons butter
TRADITIONAL OVEN METHOD:
Preheat oven to 175°C
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy based pot. Sauté the bacon over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.
Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.
In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat (leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan) and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.
Add the eschalots, wine and enough stock so that the meat is covered. Then add the tomato paste, stock cube and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove.
Cover, transfer to lower part of the oven and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).
In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms: Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Once they are browned, set aside
Place a colander over a large pot in the sink. Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully empty its contents into the colander (you want to collect the sauce only). Discard the herbs
Return the beef mixture to the dutch oven. Add the mushrooms over the meat.
Remove any fat from the sauce (if any) and simmer for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface.
You should be left with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency.
Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if desired. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
If you are serving immediately, simmer the beef bourgongne for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes or rice