Speedy Boeuf Bourguignon

This is a slightly modified version of Julia Child’s recipe. I was in too much of a hurry – it was already 5:20pm and I hadn’t even picked up groceries! Normally, the beef would be simmered for 2-3 hours until it’s unbelievably tender. But I ended up searing it for a little longer, and simmering it for a little shorter, so it was a tad rough.

Despite the time squeeze, it was frigid outside, and I wanted something warm and stew-y.

Some butt was on sale at Whole Foods, which helped me make up my mind. It all started with cubes of beef – patted dry.

They were seared. Usually the recipe calls for crisping some bacon and then searing the beef in delicious bacon fat, but I don’t need bacon for anything else, so it would be a waste of arterial health.

Nice and brown. I’ll probably have the rest of the steak in this state tomorrow… with the middle bleeding.

Veggies were browned in the leftover beef fat.

Beef cubes were dusted with salt, pepper, and flour. The flour helps bind the seasoning to the meat and add some body to the stock. It’s baked for 8 minutes at 425 degrees until there’s a nice brown crust.

Chianti is a pretty good choice for this dish. I like the way it mixes with chicken stock – it makes for a  little lighter and slightly sweet sauce.

Tomato paste, chicken stock, wine, herbs, and crushed garlic were added to the mix and brought to a boil over the stove. It’s then moved to the oven to simmer at 325 degrees. I’ve always wondered about this step – why isn’t it left to simmer on the stove? I decided that it’s probably just more evenly cooked in the oven.

In the mean time, I prepared some carbs. Diced potatoes were mixed with Lawry’s seasoning salt, paprika, minced garlic, and olive oil. Since the oven’s already on… why not have it do all the work?

At some point, we got hungry, and I threw some celery into the soup. I then sauteed some mushrooms in butter, and threw those into my boeuf bourguignon as well.

Potatoes are done! I skipped the step where I broil them until there’s a nice crust because I had to fit the boeuf pan in the oven, and the potatoes were way too close to the broiler for comfort. I didn’t want to light anything on fire.

If I had bacon and another 2 hours to spare, I would skim the fat off the stock, and then strain it and boil it down to a much thicker consistency. But instead I kept the stock relatively soupy, and the boeuf bourguignon was ready to eat! The wine had even been aerated! Bon appetit!

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