Eat Your Wine
Want a great meal with wine included? Then be prepared to throw out your old beef stew recipes because you will never make them again after you try this one!
Many years ago a friend from France had a lovely dinner party and prepared Boeuf Bourguignon. I was fortunate enough to have her share her family recipe and techniques with me. I have been entertaining guests with this recipe ever since.
Approximate cooking time: 4 hours
5 lbs. of chuck beef, cut into large cubes
9 Tablespoons of butter
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of Cognac, warmed
1 /2 lbs. of bacon, diced
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
3 cups of coarsely chopped onions
1 bay leaf
A teaspoon of thyme
1 bottle of Burgundy wine (I used a 2006 Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir)
36 whole small onions
36 mushroom caps
Juice of half a lemon
• Roll the beef cubes in flour and brown them on all sides in a skillet over high heat in four tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil.
• Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and pour the cognac over it to ignite. When the flame dies, transfer the meat to a three‑quart casserole.
• Preheat oven to moderate (350 F)
• To the skillet add the bacon, garlic, carrots, leeks, chopped onions and two tablespoons of chopped parsley. Cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp and the vegetables are lightly browned, Transfer to the casserole with the meat and add the bay leaf, thyme, Burgundy and enough water to barely cover the meat.
• Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours.
Prepare a beurre manié by blending one tablespoon each of butter and flour and stir into the casserole bit by bit. Return the casserole to the oven and continue cooking 2 to 3 hours longer.
Brown the small onions in 2 tablespoons of butter with a dash of sugar. Add a little water, cover and cook until the onions are almost tender.
Sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons each of butter and oil until lightly browned on one side. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn to brown the other side.
To serve, add the onions to the casserole and garnish with the mushrooms and parsley. Serves 12.
*Beurre manié (French for “kneaded butter”) is a dough consisting of equal parts of soft butter and flour, used to thicken soups and sauces. By kneading the flour and butter together, the flour particles are coated in butter. When the beurre manié is whisked into a hot or warm liquid, the butter melts, releasing the flour particles without creating lumps.