Beef Bourguignon

beef bourguignon

Hard to pronounce. Hard to spell. Takes forever to make. But this is good. Really good.

When full beef tenderloins are on sale I find it hard to resist buying one. I usually get at least 10 decent steaks, a small roast and enough chunks from the ends and the “chain” to make a large stew. The chain is the long piece that’s easily pulled off the length of the tenderloin. You can use stewing beef in this recipe but if you’re making something that sounds this fancy, it deserves the premium beef!

Here’s a good link to learn how to trim one yourself:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/12/how-to-trim-a-whole-beef-tenderloin.html

Beef Burgandy

If you can’t pronounce this you can also call it Beef Burgundy because the dish originated in the Burgundy region of France. You need at least 3 hours of prep and cooking time so save this one for a weekend. Or a snow day. It’s so cold today, this is a perfect excuse not to leave the house.

The experts say you should always cook with a wine you like to drink. I say take out a good bottle of wine, pour yourself a glass and use something more moderately priced for this! I don’t mean you should use cheap wine that you wouldn’t drink. The traditional wine to use in this recipe is a dry red made with Pinot Noir grapes from the Burgundy region. But seriously, any Pinot Noir or Merlot or really, any dry red wine will work.

Use a large enameled Dutch oven for this. OR….since we’re making a French dish, just get out your Le Creuset! If you’re lucky enough to have one. Me? Nope. I wish.

Start by patting any extra moisture off the beef cubes with paper towel. This will help ensure they brown nicely. Season them with salt and pepper.

beef bourguignon

Cook the meat in small batches over medium heat. I’m using a bit of bacon fat for the added flavour and also because tenderloin has very little fat content. If you crowd them, they’ll steam instead of sear and won’t get the flavour from caramelization. It’s not necessary to fully cook the pieces, just give them a few turns.

beef bourguignon

When all the chunks are seared, sauté the garlic quickly. Garlic can burn easily so just a quick sauté, then add the meat back into the pot. Pour the wine and beef broth over the meat. Add a chopped onion, a few bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for an hour.

beef bourguignon

After an hour, add chopped carrots and quartered mushrooms. Top up with about a cup more of the beef broth with cornstarch stirred in.

beef bourguignon

The mushrooms will release liquid so it’s not necessary to have the meat mixture completely covered.

And the colour deepens the longer it cooks.

Return the pot to the oven and bake for 2 more hours. It will thicken and reduce.

beef bourguignon

In the meantime, peel some of the loose skin off a head of garlic. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over and wrap up in a foil bundle. Or use a garlic baker. Toss it in the oven while the beef is cooking. After about 45 minutes the garlic will be golden and soft as butter! Add it to a pot of boiled potatoes with a bit of milk and butter, salt and pepper and mash or whip it up. Yes, the entire head!

My brother Chef Kev recommends not to put pepper in mashed potatoes because it could turn them grey. He suggests adding pepper at the end. Good call!

beef bourguignon

Serve the Beef Bourguignon over these yummy garlic mashed potatoes.

If you’re in comfort food mode, you may also like Steak and Guinness Pie.

Here’s the recipe:

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 8

Ingredients

1 lb beef tenderloin chunks
1 Tbsp bacon fat
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 C Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
2 1/2 C beef broth
1 medium onion
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 lb mushrooms
5 large carrots
2 Tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
8 medium potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pat tenderloin chunks dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear chunks in small batches in bacon fat over medium heat to caramelize. Sauté garlic quickly, then add beef chunks back into the pot. Add 1 1/2 cups red wine and 1 1/2 cups beef broth, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Chop up onion and add to pot. Bake for 1 hour.

Clean and quarter mushrooms. Peel and chop carrots into bite sized pieces. Add mushrooms and carrots to pot. Stir cornstarch into cool beef broth and add to pot.
Return to oven and bake for 2 hours.

Drizzle olive oil over whole garlic head, wrap in foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes. Peel and boil potatoes until tender. Squeeze garlic into potatoes, add milk, butter and salt. Mash or whip. Season with freshly cracked black pepper. 

Spoon Beef Bourguignon over hot garlic mashed potatoes.

2 thoughts on “Beef Bourguignon”

  1. I’ve used this dish on and off menu’s for years. It’s always a winner. I agree that the wine you use doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a dry red. If I’m serving on mashed potatoes, i don’t use pepper as it turns them grey, and I season the dish during plating.
    Now i have s craving for this dish haha.
    Thanks Marci
    Chef Kevin

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