Bœuf à la Bourguignonne, also called Beef Burgundy is perhaps one of the most famous dishes of Julia Child. The first time I ate Bœuf à la Bourguignonne was decades ago when I was still single and I have the recipe written in an old notebook, probably taken from a magazine. I cooked it for my husband later on and it became his favourite as well and he started cooking it for us, although at a certain point we stopped making it until a couple of years ago. After watching the film seventeen months ago, I was inspired to try the original recipe. After a google search I found a pdf with the original recipe and I made it around October 2009.
Boeuf Bourguignonne is a classic French recipe, that is rightly famous. The rich combination of flavors; bacon, mushrooms, beef and red wine (I used a Greek fruity red wine called Agiorgitiko, which made it delicious but you can use pinot noir, beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Bordeaux St. Emilion or chianti) combine to make a truly special dish that tastes spectacular. However, I strongly believe that we cannot strictly follow recipes which were written 50 or more years ago as back then they had a different lifestyle than we do today and using lardons, bacon or other fat was something very usual at the time. My husband told me that when they used to live in the village, until he was ten years old, he still remembers that during winter, his parents would eat trahanas soup for breakfast but not the usual way we eat it today. They would heat some lard to become very hot and pour it over the soup. They needed the energy and fat as they would go into the fields and work very hard all day and of course that fat was burned. Today with the lifestyle we are following the lardons and fat will definitely turn into cholesterol, so I made minor changes and did not add the bacon but used only olive oil. I hope that Julia Child will not be rolling over in her grave
As Julia Child says in her book, “As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done and perfectly flavoured, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance and it only gains in flavor when reheated”.
Bœuf à la Bourguignonne, adapted from Julia Child’s original recipe
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
1 kilo (2,20 lbs) boneless stewing beef, cut into pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
4 sliced carrots
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
3 cups of red dry wine Agiorgitiko
2 cups beef broth
18 – 24 pearl or baby onions
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic mashed
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
250 grams mushrooms
Preheat oven at 200 degrees C.
Wash beef, strain, cut in cubes and pat dry.
In a non-stick frying pan sauté the meat, a few pieces at a time. Remove to a casserole and in the same oil brown the vegetables. (Although I started with a few tablespoons, I had to add more). Remove the vegetables to a platter and set aside.
If the oil is brown, wash the frying pan and add a few tablespoons more. Sauté the onion and garlic and return meat to the frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the flour and mix to form a roux.
Add the red wine and mix for a few minutes then add the tomato paste, beef stock, thyme and bay leaf. Return the meat to the casserole with all the vegetables.
Put the casserole with lid in the oven and bake until meat is tender, about 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
In a non-stick frying pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms. Add to the casserole, mix and cook for five minutes.
About 5 minutes before the meat is done add sautéed mushrooms and mix.
Serve Bourguignon with boiled or mashed potatoes, noodles or rice or if you want vegetables you can serve it with lightly cooked seasonal vegetables.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!