a classic french dish made with tender beef brisket braised in dry red wine, beef stock, carrots, onions, garlic and mushrooms..served over fluffy mashed potatoes.
This recipe is from AUDREY- she is the best French Home Cook. Check her out at https://www.pardonyourfrench.com/classic-french-beef-bourguignon/
What cut of beef to choose for a Beef Bourguignon?
Probably the most important thing is to start with the right cut of beef. For a Classic French Beef Bourguignon, you want to choose a cut that is collagen-rich so it will stay juicy and tender after hours of cooking. My recommendations are:
- Beef chuck (readily available, affordable)
- Short rib (reliable, but pricier)
- Fatty brisket
- Outside round (relatively lean)
No matter which cut of beef you choose, I recommend you stay away from pre-packaged, pre-cut beef. These are often lean chunks, which won’t turn tender once cooked. Instead, go to your butcher or deli stand, and make sure you ask for a piece that is well-marbled – meaning, with fatty white streaks running throughout the meat. Once home, you can start by trimming off the excess fat from the beef – but not too much. You still want some fat to make the beef tender. Then, slice the beef into 1 ½ inch chunks – no smaller, as the cubes will shrink slightly as they cook and any smaller and they won’t hold up to the hours of cooking.
Which red wine to choose?
To build the sauce of a Classic French Beef Bourguignon, a dry and fruity red wine is preferred – one ideally produced in Burgundy. My recommendations are:
- Pinot Noir (light-bodied)
- Gamay (light-bodied)
- Merlot (medium-bodied)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (full-bodied)
The fuller the body of the wine, the deeper and richer the sauce will be. You shouldn’t necessarily reach for a pricy bottle, but one that is still drinkable – trust me, it will really make a difference. Forget the “cooking wines” from the grocery store!
Carrots, cremini or button mushrooms, pearl onions and garlic make up the simple list of vegetables found in a traditional Beef Bourguignon. Any other fixings like celery or turnips are a total faux pas.
While the other vegetables are simply added in the sauce to stew, mushrooms are sautéed on the side, in butter, and added to the stew during the last half hour of cooking. Sautéing the mushrooms is to obtain a nice sear. You want the mushrooms to be golden and slightly caramelized, so they deliver all their flavor. If you skip this step and simply stew them in the sauce, they will turn rather rubbery and bland in flavor.
More Cooking notes:
- To achieve this big stew, you will need a heavy bottomed Dutch-oven (about 6-quartz) that can go from the stove top to the oven.
- Take the beef out of the fridge about 2 hours before starting cooking so it has time to come to room temperature. Make sure you pat it dry with paper towel and season it with salt and pepper beforehand as well. We want to allow enough time for the salt to penetrate deep into the meat.
- If you do not have Brandy on hand, simply substitute with 2 extra tablespoons of wine.
- This recipe gives you 4 large servings, and if you have any leftovers, just know a Beef Bourguignon tastes even better reheated the next day.
2.5 to 3 lbs (1.1-1.4 kg) stewing beef, cubed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, divided
8 ounces cured pork or 5-6 slices bacon, cut in fine strips
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
10 pearl onions, peeled
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups (500ml) red wine
2 tbsp (30ml) brandy
2 cups (500ml) beef broth
2 tbsp (50g) tomato paste
¼ cup (32g) flour
Optional: 6-7 sprigs parsley, for garnish
For the mushrooms:
2 tbsp (28.5g) unsalted butter
1lb (0.45kg) cremini mushrooms, quartered
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Step 1 – About 2 hours before cooking, pat the beef cubes dry with paper towels and season them well with salt and black pepper. Let rest to near room temperature.
Step 2 – On the stove top over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch-oven. Add the bacon strips and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fully cooked and lightly crisp. Set aside, leaving the fat drippings in the Dutch-Oven.
Pre-heat your oven to 325°F ( 163°C) with a rack in the middle.
Step 3 – Working in batches, add the beef cubes to the Dutch-oven and brown them, about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcrowd or overlap any meat cubes or they won’t brown properly. It should take about 3 to 4 batches to brown 2 ½ lbs of beef. Transfer the browned beef to a separate bowl or plate.
Step 4 – Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the Dutch-oven and add the garlic, carrots, pearl onions, thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the onions are glistening.
Step 5 – Add the beef and bacon back in the Dutch-oven. Add the tomato paste and sprinkle with the flour. Stir all the ingredients until no dry flour is visible. Pour in the red wine, brandy and beef stock so the meat is barely covered. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes in the oven.
While the stew cooks in the oven – Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and lightly browned.
Take the Beef Bourguignon out of the oven and stir in the mushrooms. Return the pot to the oven for 30 more minutes. Take the Beef Bourguignon out of the oven, adjust seasoning if needed (salt, pepper). Let the Beef Bourguignon sit for 15 minutes before serving.