Servings: 12 Prep: 1 hr Cook: 4 hrs Total: 5 hrs
This recipe is part of a series on batch cooking. It is a spectacular example of the kind of food that is easy to cook in large amounts, freezes well and is largely a self-contained meal. It’s got all the fats and proteins one needs, as well as loads of veggies, too. This is a nutrient rich dish!
Can I just say that it was OUTSTANDING, too!!?
When I cook, I’m always confident the end result will be delicious. I’m not always as confident in the appearance, but I’m always certain it’ll at least be tasty. However, I never know HOW tasty. Some of the time things are quality, but just ok. It’ll be a blend or combination of flavors that are pleasant and enjoyable, but otherwise forgettable.
I’m a big fan of Pixar movies. I have the confidence in them to make a quality flick. However, some of the time they make Cars 2 and others… they make Finding Nemo. THIS is a Finding Nemo caliber recipe!
When I vacuum pack anything in batch, it typically bumps and bumbles around my freezer until a bag winds up in the fridge, where it continues to shuffle around until I ultimately reheat it and enjoy it weeks or months later. It’s pretty rare that I actually dream about pulling certain things out of the freezer over others. It’s all good stuff, so there’s never much of a downside, but… the Beef Bourginon did NOT last long. I made a huge batch, too!
Above and beyond the sheer quality of the flavor and efficiency of such a recipe in my life, it also takes my right back to cooking school. Much as Remy’s Ratatouille instantly transported Anton Ego to his childhood, the big beefy and red winey-ness of this classic recipe took me back to dinnertime in Farquharson Hall at the CIA.
This recipe is a classic. Beyond a classic. I’m not reinventing the wheel here. However, I am, hopefully, turning a few of you on to a recipe that has roots reaching back over a thousand years. Like the similar Coq au Vin, this is a recipe stemming from a specific area of France, intended to stew tough cuts of meat and make them palatable. It’s a mixture of common ingredients from that specific place, tossed into a cauldron and simmered until outrageous!
I don’t know that higher praise for a recipe can be given than the following…
Julia Child said of sauté de boeuf à la Bourguignonne, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man”.
Serving Size: Recipe will make 12 roughly 12-ounce (360 mL) portions.
Note: Recipe is shown with a side of simple green beans and a toasted slice of Herby Sandwich Bread (both from the freezer).
Beef BourginonPrint Rate
- 1 lb thick-cut raw bacon
- 4 1/2 lb beef chuck cut into large cubes
- 6 large carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 small onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cup Burgundy wine good quality
- 1 cup beef stock or broth (natural and unsalted)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 2 each bay leaves
- 10 hearty sprigs fresh thyme
- 12 each shallots or pearl onions peeled (but whole)
- 1 lb cremini or button mushrooms whole
- Originally, the pork was almost all pork belly fat (lardons). So, find a thick cut bacon and cut it into thick strips, like 1/4 to 1/2-inch (1cm).
- Place a large wide pot over medium heat. Add the bacon slices and cook until the bacon, stirring occasionally. While the bacon cooks, set up a bowl with a strainer and some paper towels to set the cooked bacon bits on. Cook the bacon until it is largely crispy and the fat has rendered out. Once it’s ready, pour the bacon into the strainer so that the bacon fat can drain into the bowl. Shake it above the bowl to get any straggling bacon fat, then pour the bacon on the towels. Scatter evenly over the towel so the bacon can dry and drain, without steaming.
- Put the greasy pot back into the stove and turn the heat to high. Add enough beef cubes to sparsely cover the bottom of the pot, in a single layer. If there isn’t enough fat on the bottom of the pan, feel free to add a bit more of the bacon fat. Do not want to crowd the pot, or else the beef will just steam. The goal is a nice brown sear on the outside of the meat. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. While the beef sears, set aside a nice big tray, like a cookie tray with a lip. Stir the beef so that it gets seared nicely on a good 50 to 75% of its surface. Once seared, use a slotted spoon to scoop up the beef and scatter it on the tray. Add more beef and a bit more bacon fat to the pot. Again, season with some salt and pepper. Sear. Continue searing and saving the beef, until it is all seared and resting on the side.
- Reduce the heat on the pot to medium heat. Add a bit more bacon fat to the pot. Add the carrots, onions and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions and garlic are aromatic, translucent and even picking up a little browned color, about 5 minutes.
- Add the reserved beef to the pot, as well as the beef stock, red wine and tomato paste. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.
- While the pot slowly comes up to a simmer, remove the leaves from your parsley, wash and set in the fridge between two moist paper towels. Save the stems.
- With a small piece of string or butcher twice, tie together your thyme, bay leaves and parsley stems. This is called a “Bouquet Garni”. Toss it in with the beef. (the idea is to get the flavor of the stems and herbs into the dish, without adding the fibrous stems and leaves. You’ll pull this out, later.
- Bring this concoction up to a very slow simmer. Once you have a very low simmer, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, to keep from burning.
- After about 2 ½ hours, add the reserved bacon, whole mushrooms and shallots or pearl onions. Add a bit of salt and pepper and stir in the ingredients. Bring up to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 30 more minutes.
- The dish is ready when the meat is tender and shreds very easily with a fork. The total cooking time will be about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Once the meat is ready, remove the bouquet garni. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley.
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