Classic Comfort Food :: Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

So Old Man Winter is finally back in town, despite the crazy warm weather we’ve been having lately in New York City. Temperatures drop and there’s nothing better than a big pot of comfort food and a bottle of red to make a girl happy, right? Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make everything OK…(*sigh). So I did just that this weekend, and made a huge batch of some classic Beef Bourguignon..you know, the classic French braised beef stew with veggies and red wine that Julia Child made famous.

Beef Bourguignon


I made it in a large 6-quart ceramic Dutch oven (KitchenAid brand is my fav!), and it’s chock full of savory deliciousness – sautéed pancetta, braised beef, shallots, garlic and carrots sautéed into a roux with some flour, flambeed brandy (my secret ingredient!), a whole bottle of red (yes, really!) and some beef stock, along with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth) slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours.

Beef Bourguignon

The finishing touch of mushrooms and caramelized Cippolini onions sautéed in butter are added in at the end to add tons of buttery, savory flavor to the stew. YUM.

Beef Bourguignon

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so delicious in my life – and I’m quite sure if Julia was still alive, I would make her damn proud, if I do say so myself.

Beef Bourguignon

It’s a flavor bomb in a bowl, my friends, and perfect for a lovely  holiday dinner party for a crowd. Serve in big bowls garnished with fresh Italian parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, of course accompanied with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir or Burgundy) and some crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. All around a big table of friends and family to partake in all the goodness.

Happy Holidays! 

Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

This is a delicious heartwarming French Beef Stew made with beef chuck, red wine, brandy, fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, cippolini onions, carrots and pancetta. Perfect one-pot dish for Winter or the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium-large cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
  • 4 cups beef or veal stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs Italian parsley)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 5-7 small to medium Cippolini onions, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (White button or Cremini)
  • Flat leaf Italian Parsley, minced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place beef in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for several minutes to get it hot.
  4. Add pancetta and cook until crispy and browned, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the beef in to the pot in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning with tongs (be careful not to crowd or overfill the pot as you will need to cook beef in batches to get a nice browning).
  6. Place the browned beef back on to the baking sheet and set aside.
  7. Add the oil and diced shallots and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the brandy and flambe (light it in the pan with a long lighter or match) and let the flames keep going for as long as possible, until they go out to burn off alcohol.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir together with the vegetables for a few minutes to make a roux base for the stew.
  10. Next deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate and remove any lumps, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (these babies are full of flavor!)
  11. Add 3 3/4 cups of the stock, browned meat and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat.
  12. Remove pot from the heat, cover and cook the stew in the oven for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender. (The meat should shred/fall apart easily when you pierce it with a fork - if not, place it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes).
  13. While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions in a medium saute pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper, until the onions are lightly browned.
  14. Add the remaining 1/4 cup stock and cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and glazed and liquid is evaporated.
  15. Transfer onions to a bowl and set aside.
  16. In the same pan, turn the heat up to high. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, sear over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and mix into the caramelized onions, set aside.
  17. Remove the stew from the oven and gently stir in cooked pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper to taste).
  18. Serve the stew in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, with a glass of red and crusty bread to mop up the sauce of course!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Mother's Best Comfort Food Cookbook.

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Beef Bourguignon

Other Beef Bourguignon recipes you may enjoy:

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon The Kitchn

Martha Stewart Beef Bourguignon

Asian Five Spice Sesame Beef and Sugar Snap Peas

beef-sugar-snap-pea-stir-fry

 

beef-sugar-snap-pea-stir-fry

I love Chinese food. Especially when it’s raining outside and there’s nothing else to do but cozy up under the covers and watch a movie or two like I did last weekend. I was craving some stir fry that day but instead of ordering the usual from my favorite place on 3rd Avenue, I decided to whip up my own dish with some steak, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts and scallions that I had on hand. I thought I would spice it up a little bit with a 5-spice powder I found in my pantry that I have to admit, have never used.


5-spice powder has a slightly sweet and spicy flavor to it that should be used very sparingly, as it is quite potent! It’s a mixture of cinnamon, anise, fennel, ginger, clove and licorice root and the smell actually reminds me of those little German holiday cookies flavored with anise and covered in powdered sugar that my Mom is obsessed with. You really only need a sprinkle of it in the steak marinade so it doesn’t overwhelm the stir fry dish with its intense flavoring. You might even want to try 5-spice on duck, spare ribs or pork as it complements these meats quite well when prepared as an Asian Barbecued Char Siu dish.

Super easy to make and super tasty to eat.. it definitely hit the spot for my lazy, rainy Sunday when I would have rather ordered an egg roll and some Won Ton soup and analyzed my fortune or learned a new word in Chinese. And yes, the leftovers tasted even better the next day.

Ingredients

1 lb. Angus Steak, sliced thin
1/4 c. Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1/2 tsp Five Spice Powder
1 can of water chestnuts, diced
4-6 oz. Sugar Snap Peas, Ends Trimmed
3 Scallions, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp Sesame Oil
Crushed Red Pepper
Brown or White Rice, cooked

Preparation

Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, sesame seeds and five spice powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced steak and let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy cast iron or nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add sugar snap peas and cook, stirring often for about 1 minute. Remove peas and set aside. Add water chestnuts and cook for another few minutes and remove from pan, adding to reserved sugar snap peas.

Add the additional 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and allow pan to heat up again to high. Add half of the steak and scallions, reserving marinade in bowl, and cook for about 1 minute (don’t stir to allow a nice golden browning of the steak). Turn the meat over and cook for about another 30 seconds (don’t overcook as you don’t want the steak to get tough). Remove steak and scallions from the pan and reserve on a plate to the side.

Let the pan heat to high again, and then add the rest of the uncooked steak and scallions. Cook for another minute and turn steak over, adding the first batch of steak and scallions, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, and reserved marinade to the pan. Stir everything together over high heat for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat. Let sit in the pan for another minute so the sauce has a chance to thicken a little.

Serve the stir fry mixture over the rice, sprinkling some crushed red pepper and additional sesame seeds for garnish.

Serves 4.

Other Stir Fry recipes you may enjoy:
Spicy Beef Stir Fry
Stir-fried Beef with Broccoli and Ginger
Ginger Beef Stir Fry

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