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Beef Bourguignon with the Quickness

Ron Cunningham

December2004/January 2005

Television Void

Raphael Saadiq - As Ray Ray

 

Serves:  4

 

Beef Bourguignon with the Quickness

 

When the cool season transforms into the cold season, I always look to foods that warm the soul and home with richness that only slow cooking can create.  One of my favorites is French beef stew, better known as Beef Bourguignon.  The old school method takes a bit of time; mostly the meat has to marinate in wine – which traditionally is from Burgundy – hence the Bourguignon in the name.  Trust me if you have the time then go the traditional route.  But if you’re crunch for time or you simply want to start with great basic flavors, I’ve streamlined the process without loosing the rich flavor.

 

Ingredients


1 pound of beef chuck (1-inch cubes), best quality
3 to 5 strips American Bacon, preferably thick cut
˝ tablespoon butter, unsalted
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
Pinot Noir, Bottle (or other red wine)
2 cups beef broth
˝ cup shallots, diced
Bouquet-garni – collection of fresh Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay leaf

1˝ tablespoons Peppercorns, wrapped in cheesecloth
Fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
French Baguette or other crusty bread

Cooking Method


Start off with the beef chuck and marinate in Pinot Noir.

  1. Only cook with wine that you would actually drink.

  2. Let it marinate for as long as you can.

  3. If it’s more than an hour, then pop it in the refrigerator.

  4. Otherwise, let it approach room temperate – this also aids in the getting the flavor into the meat.

  5. Drain and reserve the wine.

  6. The beef should be dry before you start the browning process so pat it with paper towels.

It definitely is much better if you have a large bottom pot.

  1. Heat up the butter and render off some bacon (you want that bacon fat; let the bacon get nice and crispy).

  2. Remove the bacon and set aside.

Following this...

  1. Start browning the beef.

  2. Don’t crowd, leave it alone and give it some time to get that deep brown caramelization on all sides.

  3. That’s flavor.

  4. Once all your pieces are browned, remove and keep warm.

  5. Add your shallots, carrots, onions, and celery to the pot with all the brown bits from the beef.

  6. Give them about 5 to 7 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile...

  • Add about two cups of low sodium beef stock into a separate saucepan and warm it up.

Return the beef back to the pan.

  1. Add the bottle of wine, followed by the beef stock.

  2. You can play with the ratio of wine to stock at your taste.  But the wine adds the most flavor to this dish..

  3. Add the bouquet-garni.

  4. Add the wrapped peppercorns.

  5. Let it come to a boil.

  6. Bring it down to a simmer, cover and relax.

  7. Give it about 1 ˝ to 2 hours.

  8. You can make this the day before – the flavors develop, get richer, deeper.

To serve...

  1. Use oversized white bowls; very clean, contemporary, simple design, which contrast and compliments the rich, complex, and traditional flavors of the stew.

  2. Remember those bacon bits, well scatter on of your servings.

  3. Add some thinly sliced baguette bread on the sides and top off the stew with fresh flat-leaf parsley.

     
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