Beef Bourguignon a la Rustique
For some time now I’ve been toying with the idea of including a different element to my site. Something that is still in the creative genre, only instead of focusing on sawdust and stain, we’d be turning our attention to the kitchen. A place where people gather and enjoy the really important things in life…grog & grub. A primer for pairing and experimenting with food and drink. Aside from woodworking & reno projects there is one other constant in my life – cooking. Some ladies have a hard time with it, find meal planning and preparation difficult…I am not one of those ladies. I tend to dive in whole heartedly. It is gratifying when a new recipe turns out. Even better when everyone else in my household refrains from gaging at whatever I’ve concocted.
So, without further ado I’d like to present my take on Beef Bourguignon. A French recipe that is simply a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine. This recipe is loosely based on Julia Child’s. I say loosely since a) I currently don’t own an oven and made this on our wood stove & b) I’m clearly no Julia Child.
Prep Time: 45 min Cook Time: 2.5-3 hours
6 oz bacon, cut into ½” pieces
3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2” chunks (I cheated & bought pre-cut)
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt, Pepper & Olive Oil
3 cups red wine – ladies, that’s an entire bottle! Buy extra if you’d fancy a glass/bottle with dinner.
2 – 3 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
15 -20 pearl or small white onions, brown braised
1 lb fresh mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters, sautéed in butter
In a cast iron pot, saute the bacon over medium heat. After the bacon has browned slightly, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. Take the pot off of the heat while cutting your beef.
If you didn’t purchase pre-cut, slice the beef into 2” cubes. Heat the pot with the bacon fat over medium high heat until the fat is nearly smoking. Add the beef & sear, letting them sit without disturbing them for a few minutes per side, until they are a deep brown. Be sure not to crowd the pan or the beef will steam instead of browning.
While the beef is browning, cut the onion and carrot into chunks. After browning the last of the meat, remove/set aside and add the vegetable. Brown them slightly and then remove them and set them aside.
Put the beef and bacon back into the pot. Add a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss the beef to coat. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and toss to coat again. If you own an oven, lucky you! Simply set the pot in the middle of your 450 degree oven and cook for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and cook for another 4 minutes. Reduce the heat of the oven to 325. Return the pot to the stove top and add the veggies, wine, broth, tomato paste, garlic and herbs. The meat should just barely be covered by liquid. Bring to a simmer on the stove top and then transfer to the oven. Cook for approximately 2 ½ - 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the pearl onions. Peel the onions. Melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onions and brown them on each side. Once browned, add ½ cup beef stock, a sprig of thyme, bay leaf and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer covered for 20 minutes, until the onions are cooked through.
In the last 45 minutes of cooking, peel a few potatoes and cut them into quarters. Put them in a pot and cover them with salted water. Bring the spuds to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 -25 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes, adding a bit of butter, milk and salt & pepper to taste.
For the mushrooms, clean mushrooms & cut them into halves or quarters depending on their size. Sauté over medium heat in 2 Tbsp of butter, until browned and cooked through.
When the meat is tender, add in the braised pearl onions and sautéed mushrooms. Serve over mashed potatoes.
Admittedly my food plating skills could use a little perfecting but this recipe is rich, hearty and delicious – comfort food at its finest. And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, consider whipping this up for your significant other. Pardon my…er…French, but if I can pull this shit off without a real kitchen anyone can. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Back Forty Photography for snapping & sampling the grub :)