Boeuf Bourgiognon – Step by Step

Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 by Julia Child

Recipe created by Julia Child   As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated. 

Vegetable and Wine Suggestions
Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux-St. Émilion, or Burgundy.

Continue to get the full recipe and a downloadable copy.

6 ounces of bacon
1 TB olive oil
3 lb Chuck Roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 TB flour
½ cup cognac (optional)
3 cups Beaujolais
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock
1 TB tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
18 to 24 small pearl white onions
1 ½ TB butter
1 ½ TB oil
½ cup of brown stock, dry white wine, red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
An herb bouquet garni, tied in a cheesecloth.
4 parsley springs
½ bay leaf
¼ tsp thyme
4 TB butter
2 TB olive oil
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, quartered
Salt and Pepper
2 TB minced shallots or green onions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut bacon into lardons (sticks, ¼ inch thick and 1 ½ inches long). Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in 1 ½ quarts of water.

Drain and dry.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside.

Dry the beef in paper towels. Sauté a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until browned on all sides.

Add the beef to the side dish of cooked bacon.

In the same fat, brown the vegetables and set aside. Pour out the fat and deglaze with cognac (optional) or beef stock.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour.

Set the casserole uncovered in the middle position of the pre-heated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered (a fleur, or flowering).

Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and cooked bacon. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

Cover the casserole and set in the lower third of the pre-heated oven. Simmer very slowly for 2 ½ to 3 hours.

The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

Brown-Braised Onions: Oignons Glacés à Brun

Place pearl onions in boiling water. Wait for water to return to the boil. Swirl around onions for 20 seconds or so to allow for better peeling of the skins. Mark an X on the stem end.

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect to brown them uniformly.

Then either braise them as follows:
Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet. Serve them as they are or follow one of the suggestions at the end of the recipe.

Or bake them as follows:
Transfer the onions and their sautéing fat to a shallow baking dish or casserole just large enough to hold them in one layer. Set uncovered in upper third of a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, turning them over once or twice. They should be very tender, retain their shape, and be a nice golden brown.

(*) The onions may be cooked hours in advance and reheated before serving.

Sauteed Mushrooms: Champignons Sautés au Beurre

Place a non-stick skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating that it is hot enough, add the mushrooms.

Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté, the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat.

In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on the surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown.

As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from the heat.

Toss the shallots or green onions with the mushrooms.

Sauté over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ or 3 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

If too thin, whisk in a beurre manié butter and flour paste consisting of 1 TB per cup of sauce and bring back to the boil. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

(*) Recipe may be completed in advance to this point

For Immediate Serving:
Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For Later Serving:
When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

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