The other night, I spent a couple of hours chopping and stirring and ended up with a pot of Boeuf Bourguignon, the famous French beef stew where you braise stewing meat in a red wine sauce. We had the stew with a glass or two of red wine, and it was very satisfying and delicious. I told my husband that I wanted to start cooking more French food since it is always so wonderful and yummy. (And when it comes to something like Beef Bourguignon, you don’t mind eating the leftovers.)
Apparently NPR heard me, because they have a story called “A French Culinary Love Affair” covering several French recipes, including Beef Bourguignon (pictured above). I used a Julia Child recipe, but this one looks like it would get the job done as well. NPR also features recipes for Frisee And Escarole Salad With Lardons, Potato Gratin, and Tarte Tatin.
5 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs beef chuck, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c cognac
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bottle red wine
1 c beef stock
1 can tomato paste
2 tsp thyme
1 lbs pearl onions
1/2 lbs mushrooms, halved
1 Tbs brown sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large ovenproof pan.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add beef to pot in one layer and brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coarsely chop 2 carrots. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Saute 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef, wine, stock, tomato paste and thyme. Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more stock to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 2 minutes. Cover pan and place in oven. Bake until meat is tender, 2 to 3 hours.
About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain. Saute mushrooms and pearl onions in a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil until they turn light golden brown.
When beef is tender, remove from oven. Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Boil liquid until sauce is reduced by half and has a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce back over beef. Add carrots, mushrooms and onions to stock. Simmer 15 minutes.
Now, what French dish should I tackle next?