Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Daring Cook's May 2012:Messieurs-Dames: Boeuf Bourguignon!

Our May 2012 Daring Cooks' hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

I couldn't believe the timeliness of this month's challenge...I've been spending two month's worth of Saturdays taking up French at Alliance Francaise de Manille. So it was really a nice surprise when I read what this month's challenge was going to be and aside from that our hostess Fabi got the recipe from one of my favorites...Julia Child!

We were given the option of making a vegetarian version using tofu which I really wanted to make but didn't have enough time for. So I just went ahead and made the traditional beef version.


200 grams Streaky Bacon

Olive Oil

1.3 kilos Stewing Beef cut into 2-in cubes

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

3 Tablespoons Flour

720 ml of young Red Wine (Bourgogne of course but Bourdeaux, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Rioja etc.)

1 Carrot, sliced

1 Onions, sliced in julienne (strips)

355 to 475 ml Beef Stock

1 tablespoon Tomato paste or puree

2 cloves mashed garlic

1/2 teaspoon Thyme leaves

1 Bay leave

The blanched bacon rind

18-24 small onions, brown-braised in stock

1/2 kg mushrooms sauteed in butter (Champignons are perfect for this purpose)

Fresh parsley sprigs to serve


1.Prepare the bacon, remove the rind. Cut the bacon into lardons (sticks 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch long)and simmer everything in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry carefully with paper towels.

2.Dry the meat cubes carefully with paper towels.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit.

4. In a fire-proof casserole or a frying pan, saute the lardons in a tablespoon of olive oil for 2-3 minutes until they're lightly brown. Remove them to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

5. In the same pan, saute the beef until its golden brown. Remove it to the side dish where you keep the bacon and set aside.

6. Still in the same pan, saute the carrots and the onions.

7. Return the bacon and the beef to the pan sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add flour and toss.

8. Place the casserole/pan uncovered in the middle position of the oven for 4 minutes. This gives the meat a lovely crust.

9. Remove the casserole from the oven. Stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, mashed garlic, cloves, thyme, bay and the blanched bacon rind.

10. Bring it to simmering point on the stove. If you are using a frying pan, discard it and put the stew in an oven-proof dish.

11. Cover the casserole (if it doesn't have a lid, use aluminum foil, and stretch it to the edges of the dish in order to minimize the loss of juices) and place it low in the oven. Adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly, it has to go on for 3-4 hours.

12. While the stew is cooking, prepare onions and mushrooms. For the onions melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and saute the peeled onions until golden brown. Add beef stock until they're almost covered and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until almost all the liquid disappears and they're tender but keep their shape. Set aside.

13. Prepare the mushrooms as well: Wash, quarter and saute them in 2tablespoons butter. Keep in stirring until they're nicely browned. Set aside.

14. When the meat is tender put the stew into a sieve over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the stew to it. Put onions and mushrooms over the meat.

15.Skim the fat off the sauce. Put the saucepan on the stove and simmer it for 2-3 minutes. Skim additional fat if it rises. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If not boil it until it thickens.

*I cheated on this recipe by pressure-cooking the beef for 30 minutes. Then I did the rest of the procedures.

And there you have it...the final result of a hurried version...it still tasted pretty good, even if I didn't cook it for the traditional 5 hours.
I had to take the pictures as fast as I could because a certain cat number 2 a.k.a. Hopster was eyeing the plate.
Thank you Fabi for such a fab (sorry couldn't resist that) challenge this month! Oh and please don't forget to check out the other versions of Boeuf Bourguignon that my fellow Daring Cooks have come up with.


Suz said...

That looks like one satisfying plate of boeuf bourguignon. I'm craving it all over again now.
Hopster's so cute. :)

Fabi said...

"Thank you Fabi for such a fab (sorry couldn't resist that) challenge this month!"
He he he he! ^-^
I'm so glad you liked it. Your BB looks amazing, thank your for joining the challenge. Big hug from Spain.

Anonymous said...

Your cat has every right to haunt the dish, it looks amazing and so inviting
great job on this challenge

Kitchen Belleicious said...

this looks amazing! I love how you made it your own