Beef Bourguignon (serves 4)
6 oz. can of tomato paste
2 cups of dry red wine (not “cooking wine”)
2 cups of reduced fat, lower-sodium beef broth (reserve an extra 1/4 cup for other uses)
1/4 cup of canola or vegetable oil
1-1/2 lbs. of beef chuck or sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch cubes
1/4 cup of Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup of flour, minus one tablespoon
3 tablespoons of butter
2 carrots, diced
A dozen Cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
A dozen pearl onions, peeled
4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
5-6 slices of bacon, cooked and then crumbled into small pieces
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of veal or beef demi-glace (available at Williams-Sonoma)
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 2/3 of the tomato paste (4 oz.) together with a 1/2 cup of the red wine. (Set aside the remaining tomato paste.) Then add the remainder of the red wine. Transfer the tomato paste-wine mixture to a dutch oven or large oven-proof casserole.
2. Pour the beef broth into the dutch oven and stir slightly just to incorporate.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, place the beef cubes in the skillet and sear them. In about 6 or 7 minutes, once the meat is browned, turn the pieces of beef over. Continue cooking for a few more minutes and then add the Cognac, turning the skillet slightly to ensure that it spreads throughout the skillet.
4. Reduce the heat to medium and then sprinkle the flour over the meat. Use a spatula to incorporate the flour into the beef and pan juices. Remove the skillet from the heat and use a spoon to place the beef and all the pan juices into the dutch oven.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
6. Return the large skillet to the burner, reduce heat to medium-high and add the butter to it. Wait for the butter to melt and then add the carrots and mushrooms. Sautée the vegetables for 5 minutes and then spoon them into the dutch oven.
7. Add the pearl onions to the dutch oven. (Trim the root end of the pearl onions, but leave the root ends intact to hold the onions together as they cook.) Add the garlic, crumbled bacon, thyme and oregano to the dutch oven. Soften the demi-glace by placing it with a tablespoon of beef broth either in the microwave or in a small saucepan over very low heat. Then spoon it into the dutch oven, stirring well.
8. Place the dutch oven (covered) into the oven for 60 minutes.
9. After the beef has cooked for 60 minutes, turn down the oven to 300 degrees and remove the dutch oven. Give the beef mixture a few stirs, re-cover it and place it back in the oven, allowing it to cook at 300 degrees for another 60 minutes.
10. After the second 60-minute period of cooking, remove the dutch oven and test the carrots to make sure they are done. Check the consistency of the Beef Bourguignon. It should have thickened to the consistency of a sauce. If it’s not thick enough, spoon the remaining (2 ounces) tomato paste into a metal mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of beef broth. Use a whisk to combine the paste and broth, and then add it to the dutch oven, stirring thoroughly.
11. Serve the Beef Bourguignon over egg noodles or couscous. Drink a good red wine with it — a French Burgundy or Syrah will pair nicely.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I Chose Beef Bourguignon . . .
Beef Bourguignon (serves 4)