Boeuf Bourguignon, or as I like to call it; Fancy French peasant food. The cold days of the Pacific Northwest have arrived with the recent frosts, a time for good rib-sticking meals. Stews were a great way for peasants to cook tough, unwanted cuts of meat in order to make them more palatable and frankly, they are freaking delicious. Boeuf Bourguignon is one of my favorites, slow cooked in rich Burgundy wine while channeling your inner Julia Child. You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Depending on the cut of meat you’re using, you may want to add some addition fat. I tend to use a round roast or brisket. Some recipes call for the addition of a little bacon (if you’d like). For leaner cuts of meat, I will add a tablespoon or two of reserved bacon fat which I’ve included below versus adding chunks of bacon. I also use cheap Burgundy wine for the cooking portion. Save the expensive stuff for the drinking portion.
Season your stew meat with 1 tbsp of salt and and 1 tsp of fresh ground pepper. Once seasoned, take a few paper towels and DRY the meat really well on all sides. This will help with the searing of the meat.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Once the oil is hot, add your meat a little at a time in batches without overcrowding the pot. Sear on each side for about 4-5 minutes. Add your finished meat to a separate bowl and set aside as you sear each batch.
Now add the shallots to the pot and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Lower the heat to medium high until the shallots are golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle flour over them. Continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add you Burgundy wine.
With a wooden spoon, scrape up all of the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring your wine to a boil.
Return your meat back to the pot. Add the garlic, bouquet garni and beef stock. You want the liquid to cover the meat by 1/3 so if it's not quite covering everything, go ahead a add a little more stock to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook covered for 1 hour. Be sure to give it a good stir every 15 minutes so you don't scorch the sauce.
After cooking for 1 hour, add your carrots and pearl onions. (I like to add them at this stage so the carrots and onion are not mushy. If you like your carrots soft, add them at the previous step) Continue to cook covered for anther 45 minutes. Your meat should be getting close to being fork tender at this stage.
Next, remove your lid and check the consistency of your stew. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes uncovered - allowing the stew to thicken up. You want it to be a similar consistency to gravy and not too runny. Once your stew has thickened, remove the bouquet garni and discard. Add 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley. If needed, add salt to taste.
Serve along side roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or some mashed cauliflower.
With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, we’ve whipped up a little Irish dinner with some of the goodies we included in this week’s CSA share. I tend to shy away from the American beer with green food colouring and routy “Irish” themed parties. Instead, I try to honor my great-grandparents by cooking some traditional peasant food and having a nice Irish stout. Boring isn’t it?
Included in this recipe are a few items from your box. Potatoes (of course) are used along with the rutabagas, carrots and yellow onions. Traditionally, the stew would be served with lamb but due to some objections in our household we swapped it out with some local Washington pasture beef. Another spin on my usual recipe is the choice of beer. I decided to keep things local by using Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death. It’s a little sweeter than Guinness which pairs perfectly with the dish in my personal opinion. All of which came from the wonderfully wet state of Washington.
Our cat Jones INSISTED on being in the photo but I assure you, no kitties were harmed in the preparation of this dish. The cow on the other-hand I cannot vouch for. Prepare your mise en place (no clue how to say that in Gaelic) By cutting up your onions in large pieces. Smash and finely chop your garlic. Peel and cut your carrots and rutabagas into about 3/4 inch chunks. Scrub and remove eyes from your potatoes and large 1 inch chunks. Set aside.
Season your stew meat with 1 tbsp of salt and and 1 tsp of pepper. Once seasoned, take a few paper towels and DRY the meat really well on all sides. This will help with the searing of the meat.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your meat a little at a time in batches without overcrowding the pot. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes. Add your finished meat to a separate bowl and set aside as you sear each batch.
Remove all of your meat from the stock pot and set aside. Deglaze the pot with 3/4 cup of dry red wine and lower your heat. Whisk for about 4 minutes and get all of the stuck on meat goodies stirred up.
At this point, add your onions and garlic and allow to cook until translucent and your wine has reduced and coated your onions.
Return your meat chunks back to the pot and pour in 2 1/2 cups of stout beer and 32 oz. of beef broth along with your chopped carrots, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and let simmer on low for 90 minutes.
After your meat and carrots have been simmering, add your potatoes, rutabagas and pearl barley. Cover and simmer on low heat for another hour. This would be a great time to start cooking your Irish Soda Bread *hint hint* (recipe link located above)
After it's been cooking, remove the lid and stir the pot. Make sure to get all of the barley that may be on the bottom. Continue to simmer UNCOVERED for another 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and your potatoes and barley have cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley. Stir and remove from heat and serve with Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy!