Tuesday, October 6, 2009

boeuf bourguignon

this was so good.

i have some very vivid food memories of when i was 5-6 years old.
one is loving sardines.
another is loving raw beef with salt.
and then, the ultimate confusion: bouilli, boeuf bourguignon and ragoût.
one i adored, one my parents adored, and one smelled really icky as it cooked.

although i still love bouilli (a simple stew of beef, root veg, brussel sprouts and usually some nice still crunchy beans), i now crave the richness of the bourguignon sauce.

tasting the sauce constantly was satisfying - it went from acidic to full and rich. you could taste each ingredient addition, layers. oddly, i mentioned jugo de carne just a few posts ago - this was quite similar.

my not so classic boeuf bourguignon

1.25 lbs cubed beef
6 slices bacon, sliced on the bias
about 20 pearl onions, skin removed
2 Tbsp flour
1 yellow onion, finely diced
half a celery stalk, fine dice
3 cups wine
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 small bunch thyme (you can leave the branches whole and take them out...)
1 small bunch parsley (the same, i leave the branches whole and take them out in the end - no sad green-gray color)
2 bay leaves (would have been awesome but i could not find any!!!)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1.5 litres of beef stock
1 lb mushroom, quartered
7 baby carrots (carottes nantaises), rough chunks, unpeeled
lots of pepper, well, i like lots of pepper

i started by cooking off some bacon. then put it aside in a colander.

***pat dry the cubes of beef and season with salt and pepper (taking away some moisture will help get a nice sear)

bring the bacon fat up to almost smoking point, add the cubed beef. halfway through searing, i added some pearl onions. once they were nicely caramelized, i put them in a baking dish and mixed in a bit of flour - put in a 475 preheated oven.

(yay! a meat picture!!! this is the beef before going into the oven...)

the flour gives the meat a nice coating that will eventually thicken the sauce. cook it well so that it looks crispy (not gooey!). about 10 minutes. Giving it a stir halfway will help.

as it is in the oven, drain any excess fat from the marmite. put in the yellow onion and celery. cook until translucent. add the bacon and eventually the meat + pearl onions. then pour in the wine. let reduce to about half the liquid.

add the tomato paste, beef stock, garlic, thyme and parsley. cook for about 90 minutes.
add the mushroom, cook for 30 minutes more.
add the carrot, cook until just tender (or still slightly crunchy, as you prefer!!)

adjust with salt, pepper and water as it simmers down. i found i had to add about 2 cups water.

delightful with mashed potatoes. ultimate comfort food.


Rachelle said...

I'm in awe equally by the food and the photos.

Felicia said...

Omg... I'm going to make this looks too delicious to pass up.

Marysol said...

Felicia, you should do it, it is so easy!!! and freeze the leftovers for later :)

Marysol said...

Rachelle, i am so focused on taking better pictures! that girl gave me a kick in the bum!

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