The first time I ever had Beef Bourguignon was when I was 19 and living in Switzerland. One family I knew invited us over for dinner and the wife who was french made Beef Bourguignon. There in that dining room in the sparkling candle light I knew why it was an amazing dish. Succulent and rich it was the embodiment of winter comfort food. Incredible.
So when I about 10 years ago decided to make Beef Bourguignon I thought about using Julia Child's famous and recipe. The problem was two fold. I was visiting a friend's mountain house there was there a braising pot but no cookbook from Julia Child. Just a book with a recipe for burgundy beef from the 1970's. I decided to give it a try. So inspired with this recipe and cooking tool I went to the market got the ingredients and made the dish. It was really good, no really. So I was satisfied that I had made the recipe to a respectable level and made it this way for years. Then it all changed.
My friend's Ken and Rick invited me over to a dinner party one evening and Rick announced that he had made Julia's Beef Bourguignon recipe and we would be having it for dinner. Well it was revelatory. Amazing, incredible. And I felt compelled to try it. So armed with the recipe I too made Julia's recipe and again the results were amazing. But oh my God it was a process.
So I took a few ideas from Julia and kept my own version. It's pretty darn good though. So if you give it a try leave me a comment.
Forrest's Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Serves 6 to 8 really well
3 pounds of chuck stew meat cubed
oil for cooking
Flour for coating the beef heavily seasoned
1 white onion finely chopped
2 carrots finely diced
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 bay leaves dried
1 small can tomato paste
4 strips of bacon chopped
1 bottle rich red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 bag frozen pearl onions
1 bag mini carrots cut in thirds and boiled until just softened
2 8 oz packs of white mushrooms quartered
1/4 cup brandy
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 325
In a large bowl toss the beef with enough seasoned flour to coat very well
In a heavy enameled baking casserole brown beef in batches till browned
Add oil each time so each batch browns.
Don't overcrowd or the beef will steam and you want some browning and caramelising
Hold browned beef to the side on a plate
Cook the bacon till just done remove from pan leave the drippings
Cook the onions, celery and carrots in the drippings till almost soft add 4 cloves of minced garlic
Add the tomato paste and combine with vegetables
Using some wine deglaze the bits from the bottom of the pan
Add the beef, the bacon, the spices the salt and pepper and stir gently
Then pour in the rest of the wine and then add enough beef broth till just covered
Bring to a boil and then turn off heat
Place in the oven for about 2 hours. At this point add the mushrooms and the pearl onions and brandy
Turn oven to 350 and cook for another 30 minutes
Add in the cooked carrots right before serving
Season to taste with salt and pepper
Place on the stove over low heat until ready to eat.
Serve with well buttered mashed potatoes