05 November 2009

An autumn meal - Beef Bourguignon

Where have I been might you wonder, well, France, Ireland, US road trip, all this has kept me very busy and not afforded me a lot of time for blogging. So while autumn is upon us, here is a very easy and delicious recipe to make and share in these cooler days.
You start the marinade on day one, cook on day 2 and serve on day 3.

Boeuf Bourguignon
For 6 people
3 lbs Beef stew (preferably chuck) (5 to 7 oz of meat per person)
1 Carrot (peeled and cut in small sticks)
2 Shallots (chopped) 
2 Bay leaves (French laurel rather than California)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 bottle of red wine (preferably pinot noir)

5 Slices of bacon thinly diced 

1 clove of garlic chopped
2 Tbsp Brandy
2 to 3 Tbsp All purpose flour
1 to 2 tsp Coarse sea salt

Day 1

Place meat in container, pour wine over the meat to cover, add 1 carrot in stick, 1 chopped shallot, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and pepper, cover and place in refrigerator overnight (best if marinated up to 24h).
Day 2
Brown the sliced bacon with remaining shallot and garlic, reserve in cast iron pot on very low heat.
Pan fry the meat (preferably in non stick pan), do not crowd the pan, place only a few pieces at a time, otherwise they will sweat and release all their juice.
Place the fried pieces in the cast iron pot as they get browned.
When all pieces have been fried deglaze the pan with a little water, reserve.
Pour the brandy over the hot meat pieces and flambé.
Sprinkle the flour and turn the meat over, then pour the liquid in the frying pan over the meat, add the marinade.
Sprinkle some salt, salt may be adjusted after cooking.
Bring all to a gentle simmer and let cook for 3 hours stirring occasionally. 

The next day warm up on low heat a couple of hours before serving, all the flavours will have developped.

For reference: this dish is from the Burgundy region famous for its fine pinot noir wines thus making it a perfect choice of wine to drink with.
This dish may be served with pasta or steamed potatoes, or for a distinctive experience puréed Jerusalem artichoke.