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Boeuf Bourguignon

On the boil

If you haven't realized it by now, I love French food and I love The Barefoot Contessa.  So, it was a match made in heaven when she released the cookbook entitled Barefoot in Paris.

A love story unfolded and I have shared many a wonderful and uncomplicated French dish from this cherished cookbook here on the blog. 

Salmon with Lentils, Rosemary Cashews, Pissaladière, Scallops Provençal and Vegetable Tian are recipes I have shared.  Moroccan Couscous, Herbed New Potatoes and my go-to French Vinagrette are more delicious selections I have made, but have yet to share here (why I haven't escapes me at the moment). 

But there was one recipe which I had been waiting to conquer.  At every pageturn in the cookbook, it seemed to taunt me.  It was a three-pager.  It required lots of time.  It required a dinner party.  It required a Dutch Oven.  It required a good deal of cash for ingredients. 

Most of all, it required an entire bottle of red wine that was good enough to drink.  And if you know anything about me by now, it is rare that such a bottle would remain corked at Chez Robin for any length of time.  hicca

As luck would have it, the Gods aligned and the dinner plans were in place for the debut of the mother of all beef stews…Boeuf Bourguignon.

Ina explains that she thinks traditional Boeuf Bourguignon is time consuming and that the finished product leaves the meat dry and stringy.  She touts her recipe as an easier, less time consuming version.

I added my own time saving measures by having  my local butcher shop cube the exact amount of beef and bacon I needed, which is essential for a working girl!

The ingredient deck is long.  Time and patience are needed, but as any good French cook will attest, these things are all de rigeur when cooking good French food.

Boeuf Bourguignon
serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces bacon, diced
2 ½ pounds beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks 
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
½ cup Cognac or good brandy
1 (750-ml) bottle good dry red wine, such as Burgundy
2 to 2 ½ cups canned beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen small whole onions
1 pound mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For Serving
Country bread, toasted or grilled
1 garlic clove, cut in half
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

—–

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add bacon; cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon is lightly browned. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear beef in hot oil 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef cubes to plate with cooked bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and 2 teaspoons of pepper into the fat in the pan and cook over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 

Add Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put beef and bacon back into the pot with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. 

Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and place on top of stove.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and the flour with fork and stir into the stew. Add frozen onions. In medium pan, sauté mushrooms in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, over medium heat, 10 minutes or until lightly browned; add to stew. 

Bring stew to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Season to taste.  

Rub each slice of bread on one side with garlic.  For each serving spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.


Boeuf Bourguignon

The result was the most impressive and mouth-watering beef stew I have ever made.  And if you thought I liked Ina before, you can bet after the rave reviews and the oohs and aahs I heard after slaving over this dish, you can bet that I now worship the East Hampton ground she walks on!

Look out Julia Child!!  I've got my best French chef.  And her name is Ina Garten.  But you can call her Barefoot Contessa.  

Have you ever eaten or made Boeuf Bourguignon?  Tell me about it!
  • User Gravatar
    Scintilla
    January 14th, 2009

    Yum, I haven’t made this in a long time. It freezes well too.

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    January 14th, 2009

    Ha! Never got the opportunity to freeze it- it was gone before we knew it. Good to know that I don;t need a dinner party for my next batch- I’ll just toss some in the freezer with my homemade soups :)

  • User Gravatar
    Foodie Froggy
    January 14th, 2009

    Wow Robin, you should give French cooking classes ;-)) I am almost jealous of how talented a cook you are !
    Cheers,
    Anne

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    January 14th, 2009

    Oh Please….if anyone should be jealous, it is me!! Remember YOU are French and live in Paris…remember?!! :) Thanks, though..what a wonderful compliment coming from you, the Foodie Froggy!!
    bises
    xo

  • User Gravatar
    Michele
    January 14th, 2009

    WOW!!!! That looks fantastic! I would love to try that!!!!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    January 14th, 2009

    Michele, you should definitely try it. It was not *that* hard, just time consuming- but the results were so worth it!!

  • User Gravatar
    City Girl
    January 14th, 2009

    Looks awesome — I am especially impressed you did the whole flambe — igniting a match in my tiny kitchen seems like a recipe for disaster, which is why i keep putting off making several recipes.

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    January 14th, 2009

    Indeed, it was a bit scary for me as well. We were at the ready – just in case something went terribly wrong. I say…GO FOR IT!!

  • User Gravatar
    Mary
    January 15th, 2009

    I haven’t made this in a while, and I don’t think mine looked nearly as photogenic as yours, but it is delicious! Too bad it’s 83 degrees out here and we’re eating more on the salad and grilled meats end of the spectrum:)

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    January 15th, 2009

    Thanks for the compliment Mary!  It doesn’t really matter how good the picture looks- it is that full, happy feeling in your tummy that really matters, right?? :)  I’ll take your 83 degrees and salad for a few days- it has been close to ZERO here!
    xo 

  • User Gravatar
    Nancy
    December 27th, 2009

    Robin, I’ve just discovered your wonderful blog between you and Julia Child, I’m inspired to try Booeuf Bourguignon very soon! I’ve been wanting to buy a good dutch oven anyway. Any suggestions on the brand and exact size? I was thinking of a Le Creuset but don’t know which size. Thanks so much! :)

    I was a travel consultant for quite a few years and I love Europe.

  • User Gravatar
    Robin @ My Melange
    December 27th, 2009

    Thanks Nancy! I totally recommend the Le Creuset. For size, I’d say it depends on your budget and your family. I have the 5 1/2 Quart, and that is the perfect size for me. And I think you should make the Boeuf Bourguignon dish – you won’t be sorry!!

  • User Gravatar
    Jean
    March 5th, 2010

    Robin, I love your photo! I’m making boeuf bourguignon today, the same recipe I’ve used for decades, a version of Julia’s. And I just hope I can get a photo half as good as yours. You see, I’m new to blogging and new to photography. I’m going to get the instruction book out and learn how to turn off the flash. (THAT will give you some idea of how little knowledge I have of photography!) I look forward to coming back and visiting your blog again.

    Thanks for the compliment. It’s all about the lightening, which unfortunately, is horrible in my kitchen. In the nice weather I have been known to take a dish outside to the porch to photograph it- natural light is the best! Good Luck and come back anytime ;)

  • User Gravatar
    lara dunston
    September 3rd, 2010

    Robin, I hope we’re going to see an entry from you… this month the theme of our September Grantourismo Blogging Competition is a food-focused blog post (we’ve got loads of great prizes, including a stay in a holiday rental anywhere in the world, plus an Olympus camera, tours, AFAR magazine subscription). Entrants need to create a blog post on a quintessential dish of a place. More details here: http://grantourismotravels.com.....september/ but just email me or visit our site if you have questions. :)

  • User Gravatar
    Catherine
    February 5th, 2011

    You have an absolutely beautiful site. This recipe sounds delicious and your photos are very lovely!
    blessings~

    Thank you Catherine! How nice of you to pop by to leave such a nice comment :)

  • User Gravatar
    pravakar
    February 17th, 2011

    Thanks for informative information. After reading i will prepare Boeuf Bourguignon. Any way the food is looking very amazing

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