Saturday, February 7, 2009

Beef Bourguignon

I can't spell it to save my life but I love to eat it. When I was in Paris, screw those escargot, I was all about the Bourguignon. I can remember sitting at some cafe one day for lunch and ordering it and just melting a little. Great for chilly fall evenings, or RIGHT FREAKING NOW.
What is with me and beef lately? (Allrecipes seems to have a hit on their hands as well if you're Ina averse - I would recommend using fresh ingredients rather than canned; 4 1/2 stars with 183 reviews!)
As always, I'll look to cut back on calories where I can. I love that Allrecipes offers up nutrition information, so with that recipe coming in around 600 calories per serving, I think there must be some shaving to be done! Ina's doesn't have the same amount of butter, but does have more booze. . . hmmm.

Prep time: 0:30; Cook time: 1:15
Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef 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)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen whole onions
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
  • Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

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

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

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, 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.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

But you know what? Screw that - I have a crock pot now bitches.

** update **
I finally made this, NOT using my crockpot, and you know what, it was kind of hard work. Well, time consuming work anyway. And because I didn't fully understand the recipe yet, and because I was already missing half of the stuff I needed, I didn't even attempt to make it healthier. Bacon. Fat.

No comments: