Beef Bourguignon is the epitome of slow food. It’s deep, rich, flavorful, and it’s a wonderful dish to make in fall and winter.
Have a nice red wine, good bread, and maybe a few potatoes with this dish, and you’ll have a great meal.
It also goes great with polenta, rice, or noodles.
Beef (approximately 3 lbs. of shoulder roast)
Flour (all purpose)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Start by roasting your beef bones for 1-1.5 hours at 350 degrees. You’ll want to get a really deep brown color on these, but be sure not to burn them.
If you’re using stew beef as well, cut it into stew-sized chunks and sautée it in a bit of olive oil until it has a nice color on it.
Next, chop 2 carrots, 1 celery rib, and one onion, and add them to a pot, along with your bones, a bay leaf or two, 2 garlic cloves, parsley, and some peppercorns. Add enough water to cover, then bring everything to a boil and then simmer it for 2 or more hours.
When your broth has developed, strain it to remove the solids, then set it aside for later.
You can also make this ahead and store it in the refrigerator, or even freeze it.
Marinating the Beef
Start by cutting your beef into large chunks, and trim away excess fat from the outside.
Next, cook and reduce several cups of red wine. The point is to cook off the alcohol, and it doesn’t need to be reduced by a lot. When it’s ready, cool it completely, then add it to a dish with your beef, along with thyme, rosemary, minced garlic, and a couple of bay leaves. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Cooking the Beef
When you’re ready to cook your beef, remove it from the marinade (keep the marinade) and pat it dry. Then, season it with salt and pepper, and coat it with flour.
Next, cut 2 strips of good quality bacon (maple is good) into chunks (think lardons), and sauté it in a pan until it’s crispy. When the bacon is done, add it to a roasting pot, and clean excess bacon fat from your pan.
Add a bit of olive to your bacon fat, then sauté your chunks of beef until they are browned on all sides (you may have to cook them in several batches).
When you’re beef is cooked, sauté a thinly sliced onion, sliced carrot, and garlic, then transfer everything to your roasting pan, along with your marinade.
Deglaze your pan with Cognac (optional), then red wine, and finally, with beef broth, and reduce by 80-90% (depending on how much liquid you still need to add to your roasting pan). You should have enough liquid to come up most of the way in your pan (and make a nice sauce), but not so much that it submerges everything. Also, reducing your beef stock will intensify the flavor, and make the finished dish that much better.
When the stock has reduced, add balsamic vinegar (you could also just add a bit of sugar to balance the flavor), then add everything to your roasting pan with chopped parsley, and mix everything together. If you have some marrow left over from your stock bones, it would be a great addition as well. Next, season with salt and pepper, add a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, and a sprig of rosemary, and bake, covered, at 325 degrees for approximately 3 hours.
Note: A tablespoon or two of tomato paste would also be good in this if you like.
Finishing the Beef Bourguignon
When your beef is done, sauté quartered mushrooms and peeled pearl inions in a bit of olive oil and butter, and add it to your stew.
Finish by garnishing with chopped parsley, and enjoy.