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Boeuf Bourguignon

My take on this classic French dish from Burgundy, along with a few tips for making this stew as flavorful as possible.
Course Entree, Soups & Stews
Cuisine Best, French
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Beef, Mushrooms
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 4 serving

Ingredients

Preparation

  • 680 grams boneless beef shank (cut into 1.5-inch cubes)
  • 10 grams flat-leaf parsley (~7 sprigs)
  • 2 grams fresh thyme (~6 sprigs)
  • 1 large bay leaf

Brown

  • 75 grams pancetta (cut into 1/4" batons)
  • 200 grams onion (~ 1 medium finely diced)
  • 80 grams carrot (~1 small 1/4 inch dice)
  • 14 grams garlic (~2 large cloves minced)

Simmer

  • 2 cups red wine (such as pinot noir)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon porcini mushroom powder

Finish

  • 400 grams pearl onions (peeled)
  • 300 grams button mushrooms (whole if small or halved if large)
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 C).
  2. If your beef is very wet you'll want to use paper towels to dry each piece or the beef will not brown. Once the beef is dry, generously salt and pepper it.
  3. Arrange the parsley, thyme and bay leaf into a bouquet and tie them together with a food-safe string. This makes it a lot easier to retrieve when the Boeuf Bourguignon is cooked.
  4. Add the pancetta to a heavy oven-safe pot with a lid (such as a Le Creuset) and place over medium heat. Let the pancetta brown on one side and then flip and brown the other side. Transfer the browned pancetta into a bowl.
  5. You should now have a generous coating of oil in the pot from the pancetta but if there isn't enough add some vegetable oil.
  6. Add the beef in a single layer with a bit of space between each piece. If you overcrowd the pan, the beef will simmer in it's own juices and will not brown. Do this in two batches if need be. Let the beef fry undisturbed, checking a piece periodically to see if it's browned.
  7. Once the beef has browned on one side flip it over and brown the other side.
  8. Transfer the browned beef to the bowl with the pancetta and repeat with the rest of the beef if it did not all fit in your pot. Add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions are tender and very fragrant. Use the steam from the onions to dislodge the coating of brown fond on the bottom of the pan. This brown coating is what gives our Boeuf Bourguignon it's spectacularly complex flavor and you want to make sure it doesn't burn to the pan.
  9. Add the wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, porcini powder and bouquet of herbs and bring to boil over high heat. Boil this mixture for about 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol.
  10. Return the pancetta and beef to the pot, cover with the lid and place the pot in the oven for 2 hours.
  11. When the beef is done, remove the pot from the oven and skim off the fat into a frying pan.
  12. Add the onions and mushrooms and brown them over medium heat on one side before flipping and browning the other side.
  13. Use tongs to transfer the onions and mushrooms to the pot of Boeuf Bourguignon, but leave the oil in the pan. You should now have about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. If you don't have enough, add butter to make 1 tablespoon of fat. If you have too much, dump some out.
  14. Add the brandy and then put the pot of Boeuf Bourguignon on a burner on medium-low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the onions are tender.
  15. When the onions are tender, add the flour into the pan with the reserved fat and cook the roux, stirring constantly until there are no lumps remaining (1-2 minutes).
  16. Pour the roux into the Boeuf Bourguignon while stirring to thicken the sauce.
  17. Garnish with minced parsley and serve with a crusty baguette.

Notes:

Notes

Porcini mushroom powder is a great way to add a little extra oomph to sauces and stews such as this, it's also usually cheaper than buying dried porcinis but if you can't find the powder, you can either grate dried porcinis on a microplane or throw a few in a spice grinder and powderize.