Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beef Bourguignon

I finally went and did it, made some beef bourguignon.  
But before I go any further I need to ask, nay...implore you to read to the last part of this post.  I've got a very important thing to share with you.

For some reason, which escapes me now, I decided to go with Ina Garten's recipe.  I think it was a tad easier to follow, although very similar to Julia Child's.  And because I had read repeatedly about how much better it is left over, after I finished it, I put the lid on and saved it for the next day.  Such restraint I have!

This was the fun part....

I don't think I've ever deliberately set a kitchen fire before, then emptied an entire bottle of red wine into whatever I was cooking.  Good times!

Here is the finished product, before it's day long camp out in my fridge.  
Just fyi...I made this in my new Ikea dutch oven my family bought me I bought for myself for Mother's day.  Just in case you're in the market for a dutch oven, I'll just say that I fully recommend it.  It did a fabulous job conducting heat, and was way easier to clean up than I thought it would be.  Also the inside of the lid has little points all over it that I have since learned are basting spikes.

And my review of the stew?  Just amazing.  What else can I say?  I can't think of a single thing I would change about this recipe, (except that I served mine on buttered noodles instead of bread)
 so here it is for you...


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen whole onions
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

For serving:

  • Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Okay, now the really important thing...
If you've never in your life listened to one thing I've said, for the love of all that is holy, please listen now.  
If you've never made the infamous no knead bread, go forth and do so now.  If you have to hire a baby sitter, call in sick, or rent a sled dog team, just get it done!  

Seriously, this is some good stuff.  And just about the easiest thing you'll ever do.

Need more convincing?  

That should do it, so here's the recipe:

Crusty Bread Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran (optional)


1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

6/20/10 Update:  I tried making this bread again today and it was a total flop! I have no idea what I did wrong, maybe too much water.  Try, try again!


La Bella Cooks said...

No convincing needed as that bread looks fabulous! I will take some of that beef bourguignon as well.

Monica H said...

Yes that is some awesome bread bu for some reason I've never made the plain version. I always seem to add stuff to it :-)

This does look yummy. Good for you for making it. I keep saying I'm going to make it but never have. Some day...

♥peachkins♥ said...

The bread looks good and that stew! it looks fantastic!

pam said...

I can't believe I haven't tried this bread yet. I thought I was the only hold out (well I guess I am now)! I'm going to mix up the dough today!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

NO need to convince me. I'll make that bread today!!!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

Kim said...

That bread definitely doesn't need any convincing and if I wasn't on this horrible and pesky diet, then I would definitely hop right up and start making it. I'm definitely bookmarking for another day though!

I've always wanted to make beef bourguinon and yours looks awesome. I bet it was really hard to be patient and allow it to sit ;-)

The JR said...

I'm convinced on the bread too. When I slow down (hopefully next week), will have to try it.

The beef bourguignon looks awesome. I would have probably had to have some on buttered noodles and bread. Totally pigging out.

Pam said...

The stew looks amazing... I have still never tried to tackle that recipe.

The bread - BEAUTIFUL! Bookmarked.

Mimi said...

Delicious stew and so perfect with the bread. I make that bread at least once a week. It really is awesome.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

LOL, I'm gonna have to do just that to make that bread...'cause now I seriously want it, BAD!

I've made that stew and it is wonderful. I made it for a family dinner party. Good stuff but it takes awhile especially when you're serving 9 all good eaters. :)

Brownieville Girl said...

I LOVE the no knead bread - but mine has never risen as well as yours :-{

Must make it again this weekend :-}}. Thanks for reminding me!!

Reeni said...

I always wanted to make this stew! It looks wonderful! And I love no-knead bread - yours turned out way better than mine.

Genevieve Richer said...

WOW! Just... wow! I'm thinking I could actually pull this off!!! Love ur blog! Everything is always so yummy!
Genevieve =)

Katrina said...

The beef "stew" (don't want to slaughter spelling the b word. ;), but the stew look and sound so good.

I've made the no knead bread a few times and LOVE it. I wish I'd remember to make it more often.

Anonymous said...

The stew looks terrific and perfect with a slice of that beautiful freshly baked bread!

Sook said...

Wow, I always hear about this dish but strangely enough, I've never had a chance to make it before. I want to try it so badly!

Joanne said...

I've been meaning to make boeuf bourguignon for a long time...thanks for reminding me with this gorgeous version! I feel comforted by it already. And that bread. I'm salivating.

Juliana said...

Oh! Both look great! You got me hungry now!

Deborah said...

This is on my "to make one day" list. Yours looks beautiful, and that bread looks like perfection!

theUngourmet said...

I've never attempted Beef Bourguignon. Maybe one day I will. I looks delicious! Now, your bread is calling my name! I may have to give this a shot on Sunday. :)

I'll have to look for that Ikea Dutch oven!

~~louise~~ said...

Beef Bourguignon and No knead Bread, oh goodness, I must muster up the nerve to try them both. Perhaps, pills will help, lol

Thanks for sharing, Sarah...

Krista said...

Alright, already...I'll make some no-knead bread : ) The beef bourguinon looks amazing! I've never intentionally set a fire in my kitchen either, but this seems like a good reason to do so! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Karen said...

Holy cow, both of these look super delicious! I'm going to try the bread in my new dutch oven! Beautiful :)