Beef Bourgignonne

It’s been a while since we put any food stuff on here, and I think that will restart again with a vengeance. There’s not much more football to talk about, and besides, it’s winter time and we’re all eating ourselves into oblivion!

Beef Bourgignone, Bourdain style
  1. 2-3 lbs of beef, pick your favorite roasting beef from your favorite butcher. This is the key ingredient, so don’t skimp!
  2. 2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
  3. 3 large carrots cut in big pieces
  4. 2 potatoes, medium to low starch, peeled, diced large (optional)
  5. Bouquet garni
  6. Red wine, preferably Burgundy, but Merlot, Zinfandel, Cotes du Rhone, Pinot Noir will work
  7. Beef stock/water
  8. 2 tbsp of AP flour

1. Season room temperature meat with salt and pepper only, don’t be shy.

2. Bring a healthy (read unhealthy) pool of olive (doesn’t have to be EVOO) to medium high temperature, and brown the meat in batches, don’t overcrowd, don’t underbrown. This is most important part of this dish, and will greatly affect how it tastes in the end. Get ready because it’s going to be a little bit of a smoke-out. If you have an effective hood, well, I’m jealous.

3. Once you’re done browning the meat, POUR OFF THE EXCESS OIL. I forgot to do this, and it made the whole thing a bit oily. The key point is that you need more oil to brown the meat than you do to make the stew, just get rid of it so the thing isn’t too oily. Set the meat aside to rest while your getting the brew ready.
4. Reduce the heat a little, and add the onions. They’ll dehydrate and help get the frond off the bottom of the pot (I think a 5 quart dutch oven works best). Add a couple of cups of wine here, and reduce, stirring the onions. Sprinkle in a little AP flour to make the coat the onions a little bit.

5. Add your meat again, and then add either beef stock or water to just cover up the meat. This is setting up a braise here, and it’s a simple meat, carrots and potatoes dish after that. Add the bouquet garni (1 sprig parsley, 1 sprig of thyme, and a bay leaf) to the brew with the carrots.

6. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. I think that if you seal the top of your dutch oven with foil, it makes a better seal than how it comes from the company. It will matter more for tough meat that really needs the steam heat to soften up, or if you’re pushed a little bit for time and you want to get your veggies going faster. Take your pick, experiment.

7. After about an hour or 90 minutes, add the potatoes if you want. If you add them too soon, they’ll fall apart, and be kinda gross, although, sometimes you may want it like that. It depends on how you like beef stew. Bourdain’s recipe doesn’t call for potatoes at all, but that’s a little more classic American style dish.
8. Whole thing around 2 1/2 hours. You can braise either on the stove top or in the oven. If you do it on the stove top, it’s low heat. You want steam to rise out of the brew, but you don’t really want it bubbling. That’s about 2.5 on my electric range. If you do it in the oven, go for around 250 F.
9. Chop some fresh parsley, serve with some good bread, and you’ve got it!
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