Saturday, January 9, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon; Revisited

I just realize that ALL I have been blogging about for the last month or so is Sweets..... And while sweets are delicious, their not so nutritious. I think it's time for some real food. Not that I haven't been eating real food over the last month. I have, and most definitely, since I really don't care for sweets myself. Well except for pie. Can you blame me? I mean, who doesn't like pie?

Most if not all of the goodies I have been making have been for others to enjoy. But because of the time it takes to make those sugar laced bits of goodness, I have been sorely lacking in photographing my actual meals. Way too many photos to take as well as process. My old Titanium 500 Powerbook sees me coming and starts to groan in pain. The poor thing. (I did get a 1.67 Aluminum of of eBay for a song, but I have not had the time to sit down and transfer everything over to it yet, and I really need a fire wire)

I have also been recycling a lot of dishes that I have already made, such as Linguine alla Carbonara, Risottos of various types, Saltimbocca alla Romagna, Spaghettini alla Puttanesca, Flower Pot Chicken and salads. Yeah, lots and LOTS of salads. Massive craving for leafy greens goin on up here. However........

One thing I cooked up and kind of took pictures was Julia Child's infamously delicious Boeuf Bourguignon. Cause it has been bitterly cold and it just sounded hearty and delicious. It is pretty much the same recipe I followed before, except for.......

I used Pancetta instead of bacon.
I used Pinot Noir, instead of Barbera (Pinot Noir is from the Burgundy region of France)
I used Onion (just like the original recipe called for) instead of substituting a leek like I did before.
I used a Chuck Roast instead of a Tri-Tip roast like before.
Oh, and I used a medley of pearl onions... Yellow, White and Red all mixed together.

 They are all pretty standard deviations from the original recipe. I mean you could just as easily make it with Syrah if that is what is in your wine rack (but lemme tell ya, the Pinot was AWESOME) and while Julia mentions "white" pearl onions, I used gold the last time, and, for me at least, Bacon and Pancetta are pretty much interchangeable.. depending on how much smoke flavor I want in a dish. The point is, the only reason I am rehashing this recipe is my need to share what happened at the Meat Market when I was hunting down a significantly large hunk of meat... LOL

So I walk in to the Meat Market, see? and I ask the gentleman behind the counter if he could recommend a different cut of beef for Boeuf Bourguignon, cause I didn't want to use the Tri-Tip again. He goes in the locker and comes back with a whole Beef Tenderloin in tow, at $11.95 a lb ?!?!?!?! (Which is actually a pretty good price, but still.)

I looked at him and said, "Um... You're suggesting that I cook a 3 pounds of Beef Tenderloin in Beef stock, for 2 1/2 hours in the oven?"

He looks at me like I am dense and says, "Well, yes... Cause it will be REALLY tender."

I rephrased and said, "Really, Beef Burgundy (yes, in English this time) with Tenderloin.. Hmmm And here I though that was for Filet Mignon and Chateau Briand (Which is a pounded Tenderloin)"

I mean come on.... I could use Shoe Leather in Beouf Bourguignon and it will be deliciously tender after cooking in moist heat for 2-3 hours.

He just looked at me again, like I was a dolt, and said "They're both French." LMAO.....

So evidently, some people have this misconception that the only piece of cow that they eat in France is the tenderloin. Either that or he really did think I was an idiot and I would purchase a tenderloin at 3 times the price!

So, I bought a chuck roast...
And quite a beautiful Chuck roast it was... And literally 1/3 the price of the Tenderloin, and let's face it... Chuck has more flavor than tenderloin does.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Beef Burgundy

1 10-inch pot that is at least 3 inches deep (This time I used the pyroceram Corningware - Cause you have to cook on the stove and in the oven)
8 oz Pancetta
1 TB Olive Oil
3 LB Chuck Roast
2 Carrot, Sliced
1 Onion, Chopped
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 TB Flour
3 cups Pinot Noir (I used a 2006 Carmel Road from Monterey, CA)
2-3 cups Beef Stock (I only needed 2)
1 TB Tomato Paste
2 cloves of Garlic; crushed
1 sprig Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 Sprig of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 recipe Brown-Braised Onions (recipe follows)
1 recipe Butter Sautéed Mushrooms (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice into 2 inch chunks and pat all pieces of Beef dry with paper towels. (It's true, dry meat browns better)

Chop the Onion and slice the Carrot.

Place casserole over medium high heat and add olive oil. (I used Pyroceram CorningWare instead of enameled cast iron)

Sauté the Pancetta in oil until browned and the fat is rendered out;

then remove with a slotted spoon, to a plate. (mmmm pancetta goodness)

Begin searing the dried Beef chunks in several batches, you don't want to crowd the pan or they won't brown as nicely.

Once they are browned on all sides, remove to the plate with the Bacon.

Add the sliced Vegetables and sauté until they soak up all the delicious meaty goodness left in the pan.

Remove them from the pot, and set aside as well. (mmmmm Pancetta & Beef goodness sautéed right in)

Pour out any remaining fat and add the Beef and Bacon back to the pot.

Sprinkle with Flour and toss to coat, then place in the oven, on the top rack, uncovered, for 4 minutes; toss again and bake 4 minutes more, to brown the Flour (it will smell nutty)

Place pot back on the stove top over medium heat and add the vegetables.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, then add the wine to the pot.

Then pour in just enough beef stock to barely cover the meat along with Tomato Paste, Garlic, Herbs, Salt and Pepper.

Bring to a simmer and place in the lower rack of the oven, covered, for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

Meanwhile.......Your going to need about 6 TB of browned butter for these next two recipes.
So simply melt 8 TB unsalted butter in a sauce pan skimming the foam until the proteins brown slightly.... Then strain through cheese cloth.

For complete instructions please check out "Butter May Be Better, But Browned Butter is Best".

Brown-Braised Pearl Onions
Oignons Glacés á Brun

18-24 mixed Pearl Onions (white is preferred, but I thought this was fun)
1 1/2 TB Browned Butter (Beurre Noisette)
1 1/2 TB Olive Oil
1/2 cup Beef Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 sprigs Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
2 sprigs of Thyme

Heat a Browned Butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the pearls and sauté for about 10 minutes until somewhat uniformly brown.

Add Beef stock and season with Salt and pepper; add the Herbs, cover and reduce heat to medium-low; over and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until the onions are tender but still hold their shape.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

While the onions are simmering.......

Mushrooms Sautéed in Browned Butter
Champignons Sautés au Beurre Noisette

1 LB Fresh Mushrooms (again, I used Cremini; AKA Baby Bella, Italian Brown)
4 TB Browned Butter (Beurre Noisette)
1 1/2 TB Minced Shallot
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare the Mushrooms. Mine were pretty big so I quartered them instead of slicing. (They were gorgeous mushrooms)

These take about 4 batches to sauté properly, don't over crowd the pan, or they will not brown and will give up their liquid, steaming themselves and not actually sautéing.

For each batch, place 1 TB Browned Butter and 1/2 TB Olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat.
Add 1/4 of the Mushrooms and sauté until browned lightly. (They will get shiny at first, but they will brown after that)

Remove each batch and set aside until all 4 batches are sautéed.
Then add ALL the Mushrooms back to the pan along with the Shallot and Salt and Pepper, tossing for about 1 minute.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Bringing the whole Kit and Kaboodle together.....

The Pearl Onions should be completed, the Mushrooms should be completed, so now is the time to do a quick clean up and take about a 30 -45 minute nap before the Bourguignon is finished in the oven... LOL Please make sure that you wake up when the timer goes off though.

When the meat is tender, after about 2 1/2 hours, remove the casserole from the oven.

Pour off the wine/stock from the casserole to a small sauce pan and skim the fat off the top.
Add the Mushrooms and Pearl onions to the Beef/Vegetables.
Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, skimming any additional fat that rises, to reduce to about 2 1/2 cups. Last time I didn't have to do this, but I think the Corning ware made a tighter seal and I didn't loose as much moisture as I did with my casts iron pot.

Pour sauce over Beef and Vegetables.
Bring the whole thing back to a simmer for 2-3 minutes while occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the gravy-esque goodness.

And serve with Italian Parsley for color and Ciabatta Rolls to soak up the gravy goodness.

And once again, you have a big steaming bowl of Bovine Nirvana. I really have to hand it to Julia, I don't like beef, yet I just can't seem to get enough of this stuff.



Bob said...

Oh man, that shot of the browned pancetta is devastating! The whole thing looks great.

Cathy said...

It looks like HEAVEN! The weather is perfect for it right now, too. Did you notice how I'm avoiding calling it by name? I can never spell it! LOL

Patti T. said...

I have been so hungry for a good stew, this makes me want to run to the wine and spirits store and get a bottle of burgandy. This was one of the first "fancy" recipes I ever made when I first got married, ahhhh the memories. Thank you for the beautiful photos, I swear I could almost smell the food cooking.

Michele said...

Divine! I have those pearl onions too. From TJ's, right?

Danielle said...

YUM!! you just reminded me that I was going to make this first when I got my MTAFC book!! And I didnt. tsk tsk. I will have to do this and soon. I'll probably go with the chuck roast as well. The only thing I won't do is the pearl onions...cuz I'm not very fond of them. I don't know why. It's been years since I ate one so I can't remember what they taste like or how they flavor is different from other onions.