Tag Archives: beef bourguignon

Beef Stew with Cognac and Red Wine

Beef Stew TasteFood 1

 

~ Spirited Beef Stew with Cognac and Red Wine ~

For many days I’ve been saying that it’s Beef Bourguignon weather, so I finally stopped the talk and got cooking. I made this stew over the weekend, and the weather did not relent, gifting us with a deluge of rain worthy of an ark – and a cognac and wine infused beef stew. If you have to experience a torrent of rain, I dare say this kind of food makes it enjoyable – especially when accompanied by a creamy potato gratin, a robust bottle of Zinfandel wine, and a crackling fire.

Beef Stew with Cognac and Red Wine

Ideally start the stew a day ahead of serving. Not only does the flavor improve with time, it allows the fat to rise to the top as it cools. The next day, lift off the solidified fat from the surface before you reheat the stew. Serves 6.

Stew:
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cognac
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (750-ml) bottle full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef or chicken stock
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Vegetables:
10 ounces pearl onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, ends trimmed, halved if large
2 to 3 large carrots, peeled, cut on the diagonal 1/2-inch thick
Fresh thyme sprigs

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large dutch oven or oven-proof pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the beef to the pan in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all of the beef is browned.
2. Add the cognac to the pot and deglaze, stirring up any brown bits. Reduce by half, then pour the cognac over the reserved beef.
3. Add 1 tablespoon oil, the carrots, onion, and garlic to the pot. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften without browning, about 4 minutes. Return the beef and cognac to the pot. Add the wine, stock, thyme, bay leaves, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover the pot aand transfer to oven. Bake in oven until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
4. Strain the liquid from the stew into a saucepan. Separate the chunks of meat from the vegetables and return to the Dutch oven. Press down on the remaining vegetables in the sieve to extract as much juice into the drained liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables.
5. Boil the liquid until the sauce is reduced by about 1/3 and somewhat thickened. As the sauce boils, skim the fat from the surface (if you are making the stew one day in advance, you may skip this step since the fat will be removed after refrigeration). Stir in the sugar and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the beef. (At this point the stew may be made one day in advance. Cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. One hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and proceed with recipe).
6. One hour before serving the stew, prepare the vegetables. Blanch the onions in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute; drain. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until light golden, about 3 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Steam or saute the carrots until bright in color and al dente. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.
7. Skim any collected fat from the surface of the stew. Heat over medium-low heat on the cooktop to loosen the stew. Add the onions, mushrooms and carrots. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until stew and vegetables are hot. To serve, ladle the stew into warm bowls and garnish with fresh thyme.

Aprés-Ski Menu: Beef Bourguignon

 

During the winter season I like to prepare rustic recipes from the French countryside. These hearty dishes are made with staples from the land, such as potatoes and root vegetables, bitter winter greens, cured meats and cheese.  My favorite is beef bourguignon, a stew consisting of a tough cut of beef slow-cooked in Burgundy wine until falling-apart tender, mingling with carrots, onions and mushrooms in a rich, savory stock.  It’s a delicious one-pot meal perfect for a cold night or an apres-ski meal. It can easily be made in advance, and like most stews, tastes even better the next day for easy planning. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, a roaring fire, friends and family.

Beef Bourguignon

Serves 6 to 8

Olive oil
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cognac
4 large carrots, divided
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 (750-ml.) bottle full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof pan with lid or Dutch-oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the beef to the pan, without over-crowding, and brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef.
2. Add the cognac to the same pan and deglaze over medium-high heat, scraping up any brown bits, and reduce by half. Pour the cognac over the beef and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 F. (170 C.)  Coarsely chop 2 carrots. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan. Add the chopped carrots, the garlic, and onion. Sauté over medium heat until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Return the beef and any collected juices to the pot. Add the wine, stock, tomato paste, and thyme. (The beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.) Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
4. About 30 minutes before the beef is finished cooking, cut the remaining carrots into 1/2-inch slices. Saute the carrots in a skillet with 1 tablespoon oil until bright in color and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions and mushrooms to the same skillet and sauté until lightly golden and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
5. Remove beef from oven. Pour the stew into a large strainer set over a bowl. Remove the meat from the mixture and return to the Dutch oven, then press down on the cooked vegetables in the strainer to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.
6. Pour the strained liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and has a sauce consistency, skimming the fat from surface. Add the sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce back over beef and add the carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer to heat through, then serve.

Note: Beef bourguignon can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove solidified fat from surface before reheating. Reheat over medium-low heat on stovetop, or in a 325 F oven.

A French Country Menu: Beef Bourguignon

 

Beef Bourguignon

During the winter season I like to prepare rustic peasant-style food from the French countryside. These hearty dishes are made with staples from the land such as potatoes, root vegetables, bitter winter greens, cured meats and cheese.  My favorite is Beef Bourguignon, a stew consisting of a tough cut of beef slow-cooked in Burgundy wine until falling-apart tender, mingling with carrots, onions and mushrooms in a rich, savory stock.  It’s a delicious one-pot meal perfect for a cold night.  Try to make it one day in advance, so the flavors can develop overnight, and then enjoy the meal before a roaring fire.

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 6-8

5 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs. beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2″ chunks
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cognac

4 large carrots
1 large yellow onion, cut in large chunks
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 – 750 ml. bottle full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme

10 oz. (300 g.) pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof pan with lid or Dutch-oven. Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add beef to pan in one layer and brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.)  Coarsely chop 2 carrots.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef, wine, stock, tomato paste, and thyme. (Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.)  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes.  Cover and place in oven. Bake until meat is very tender 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2″ slices.  Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain. Sauté mushrooms and onions in a skillet with one tablespoon olive oil until light golden brown.

Remove beef from oven.  Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Separate meat from vegetables and discard vegetables. Boil liquid until sauce is reduced by 1/2 and has a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce back over beef.   Add carrots, mushrooms and onions to stock. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve.

Beef bourguignon can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove solidified fat from surface before reheating. Reheat over medium-low heat on stovetop, or in a 325 F. oven.