In the age of Instant Pot everything, it’s easy to overlook time-consuming classics like beef Bourguignon. This, however, is a mistake.
It’s the type of dish you pull out your Le Creuset for, and the kind that requires separate trip-ups to the butcher, farmers’ market, and wine store. One does not casually run beef bourguignon into their schedule; no, this is the sort of cooking weekends are planned around. And son, is it worth it.
Also known as beef Burgundy, boeuf bourguignon, and boeuf a la Bourguignonne, this dish may strike many modern cooks as intimidatingly French, but it is more at home at a family dinner table than fine dining restaurants.
Anthony Bourdain calls it the perfect party dish. “You cook it before your guests arrive( it only gets better sitting around ), you bring it up to heat, and if you’re detained in the dining room having a few extra cocktails , no big thing, ” he says in a 2010 episode of “No Reservations.”
To build beef bourguignon at home, you soak a relatively inexpensive cut of beef, the shoulder, in red wine, and then sizzle and simmer it with carrots, onions, celery, and herbs. There is an admittedly fussy-seeming step that requires a second pan( oh la la !) to saute your beef with pancetta, mushrooms, and pearl onions while the sauce reduces to a spoon-coating demi-glace. All in all, though, it is a reasonably painless process.
The classic dish dates back to at the least 1903, when Auguste Escoffier, the French cook hailed as the founder of modern cuisine, published the first known written recipe. Julia Child introduced American home cooks to beef bourguignon with her 1961 culinary opus, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” In it, she describes the stew as” surely one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by human .”
“Fuller-bodied varietals like Cabernet or Merlot would mask the savour of the meat, whereas a lighter, moderately tannic wine will enhance its savor, ” Laetitia Rouabah, executive cook at New York city French bistro Benoit, tells VinePair.
Harold Moore, co-owner of New York’s Bistro Pierre Lapin agrees. “You can’t make this dish with inferior quality wine, because when you reduce everything and concentrate those flavors, whatever’s prevalent in the wine has certainly stand out in the sauce, ” he says.
Not only is Burgundy the best wine for cooking this dish, it also makes the perfect pairing, Moore says. He recommends bottles with eight to 10 years of age, and says the wine should be slightly more acidic than the sauce because it helps “pick up the subtlety of both the dish and the wine.”
Whether you serve your beef bourguignon with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, or even simply a slice of stale bread, the issue was luxurious cooking. It just happens to is coming from an era when haute cuisine didn’t involve tweezers and pipettes.
“It’s not about how expensive it is, it’s about employing the best quality available, ” Moore says of the ingredients in this dish. Your time is precious, but your grocery bills don’t have to be.
( Inspired by Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain, and Auguste Escoffier)
Serves 6 to 8P TAGEND Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 ounces pancetta, unsmoked, cut into 1/4 -inch by 1-inch batons( these are called lardons) 3 pounds of beef shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces 1 big onion, chopped 1 pound of carrots, peeled and approximately chopped 1 pound of celery, approximately chopped 3 cleaves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 bottle Burgundy red wine 2 beakers quality beef stock 1 bouquet garni( thyme, bay leaf, and parsley, tied together with string) 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, cut in half 1 pound pearl onions, peeled Salt and pepper, to savor
Marinate the beef in the red wine overnight. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add pancetta and cook over medium heat until the meat becomes crispy. Remove with a slotted spoonful and put aside on a plate lined with newspaper towel. Remove the beef from red wine( don’t dispose the wine, you’ll need it soon !) Pat it dry, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and sear your beef in the pancetta fat in batches, attaining sure not to crowd the pan. Remove when the meat is nicely browned on all sides, and repeat until all beef is browned. Add the onions, carrot, and celery to the pan, and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes until all are golden and soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the tomato paste and beef, and caramelize over medium-high hot for one minute. Use a wooden spoon to scraping the bottom of the cooking pot, constructing sure nothing burns to the bottom of the pan. Add your red wine and beef stock to the pan and deglaze, use your wooden spoon to stir the browned bits into the liquid. Bring to a slow boil, add your bouquet garni, encompas with a lid and place your pot in the oven. While the meat cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium hot and add 1 tablespoon butter. When hot, add the mushrooms in batches( as with the beef, you don’t want the pan to become overcrowded ). Season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden. Remove from the pan, put aside, and repeat until all mushrooms are cooked. Repeat this process with pearl onions. After approximately 11/2 hours in the oven, when the meat is about two-thirds cooked, remove the Dutch oven and take the beef out with tongs. Add the beef to a fresh pan with pancetta, mushrooms, and pearl onions. Strain the sauce into this pan, removing the veggies and corsage garni.( You can discard the heavily cooked vegetables, or serve them as a side dish, if you like .) Bring the pot to a simmer on the stovetop and cook gently for around 30 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Check every five minutes, stirring and rubbing the bottom of the pot to make sure none of the ingredients are catching and burning. Skim off any foam or fat that collects on the surface of the liquid. Season with salt and pepper to savour. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a side of rich mashed potatoes, simmered new potatoes, or crusty French bread.
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