My mum made Boeuf Bourguignon for the Christmas dinner and it was delicious. Because it wasn’t our turn to have the kids for Christmas they missed out on this so I decided to make it at home. It’s a wonderful dish that is comfort food with the layers of flavours of a high end dish.
I based my recipe on one from a cookbook called 500 Main Courses. Doesn’t sound like much but they have a ton of great recipes to make. I changed it of course as their recipe would have served about 10 even though it said 6. I cut it in half and we had enough for about 5 people. But as it was delicious we finished it off. 🙂
We don’t have a stove to oven dish at the moment though it will be in the near future when we get one. So I had to use a skillet then an oven dish. I chopped up about 5 slices of streaky bacon and sauteed them until slightly crispy. I then put them into the oven dish. Next I floured the beef. I used about 3/4lb of beef and it needs to be cubed. I was able to find some really good tender stewing steak at the local co-op. I made a slight mistake, I tossed in the beef into the bacon fat prior to reducing the amount of fat. So while the dish was great it was a bit too much fat as the flour absorbed quite a bit. The bacon fat lends a lovely buttery quality to the meat but you can make this dish without the bacon. The meat isn’t as buttery but you do have the layers of flavours you want with this dish. My mum didn’t make it with bacon and everyone loved the dish.
After the beef is browned and set aside with the bacon I tossed in the shallots. I quartered them rather than finely chopped them for this dish. I then coarsely chopped about 5 cloves of garlic and about a cup of mushrooms. The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of butter but as we had enough bacon fat I just added a pat of butter. I sauteed all the veg for about 5 minutes then added it to the bacon and beef.
I then prepared the sauce.
To the skillet I added about 2/3 cup of veg broth (recipe called for beef broth) and just under 2 cups of red wine. You want to use a decent wine! It is a large component to this dish. Plonk won’t do. While this was heating up I added fresh thyme, dried oregano, sea salt, pepper, and a bay leave. I had to use dried oregano as my garden is under several inches of snow!
Pour the sauce into the oven pan.
Put into the oven heated to 160 C/325 F/Gas 3 for about 2 hours. Make sure the pan is covered. Let cool once done and put in the fridge. The next day reheat for about 1/2 hour and serve.
It makes a difference if cooked the day before. It allows all the flavours to mature and work together.