Inspired by Julia Child, this fantastic beef bourguignon is best shared with friends.
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Hi Rouxbe! The longest process in cooking Beef Bourguignon is browning the meat which results in developing of the sucks and contributes to building up the flavor. Would it be ok to brown only, let say, half of the meat thus cutting the time of browning in half as well? There will be plenty of sucks to enrich the stew. Could you please comment on this thought?
Interesting question/thought...but I would have to say no, unless you want less flavor in your stew. In that case I suppose you could just brown half of the meat.
Stews are one of those dishes where the labor is what makes them so great.
Ultimately, to really know if it it is worth it or not you would need to make 2 batches. One where you brown half of the meat and the other where you brown all of it. Of course this would be even more work but in the end you would likely know if it is worth it to you. For me, personally it's worth it. Cheers!
Okay, I feel compelled to chime in here. Let's not forget that this magnificent dish cooks about 90% all by itself. The end result though WILL BE a combination of some simple, yet critical skill and technique during the early stages of the dish. And for this dish, it's:
1. selecting the right cut of meat
2. heating your pan to the right temperature
3. searing the meat correctly (nice caramelization)
4. protecting the sucs
6. adding a good stock
The rest all happens in the oven (or on the stove) over a long slow effortless cooking process.
When we create ANY dish, what we do in the early stages is so critical to the end result.
Shortcuts are great, but in some cases, they just aren't worth it, particularly when it involves developing flavor through proper execution.
Love and embrace the process and you will love the end result.
What a treat! Not only I’ve got an answer to my question, I’ve got a discussion. I am so lucky to be a part of Rouxbe community. Thank you so very much. Your pride and dedication to your business is shining through. Well, I knew the answer… Just kidding:)
I have just tasted my first effort at this recipe and am absolutely delighted with the results.
Sumptuous, fall-apart meat and delicious vegetables smothered in that rich velvety sauce.
The sub-100 degree cooking temperature worked a treat (5 hours needed) as did the blanching of the bacon (FAR more subtle).
My only deviation was the addition of chopped celery.
Many thanks to you all
I'd really like to make this for Christmas dinner but I don't have a dutch oven. Would a good stock pot that's also usable in the oven suitable, or do I need to hold off? I also might have access to a camping dutch oven (black cast iron one from Lodge). Would that work or does it have to be enamelled?
A Dutch oven is not necessary, but we do prefer cooking with heavy-bottomed pots and pans to prevent the ingredients from scorching or burning due to hot spots. Take care when browning the meat and building the stew and you should be fine. Cheers!
I'm not sure if I can find slab bacon, so if I have to substitute thick-cut bacon I have a novice question. Is there some part of thick-cut bacon that is the rind that should be trimmed off, or does a rind just come on slab bacon?
Second, if I am able to find the slab bacon, I was reading thru the recipe and didn't see where the rind was removed. Sorry again for the naive questions, but is it just assumed that you remove it when the stew is done, or does it dissolve into the stew?
Slab bacon is a large, single piece of bacon with the rind left on. If you substitute thick-cut bacon, make sure it's not maple flavored or something like that. We tried this once as it is what we had on hand and we did not like the results at all. Not all thick-cut bacon may come with the rind attached. If you can't find it with the rind on, don't worry.
Regarding what to do with the rind, check out Steps 1, 2 and 8 - the text there tells you what to do with it. Cheers!
The first time I made Boeuf Bourguignon is about a year ago now, following the directions from a TV show called Tyler's Ultimate. There were some points in the recipe that I realized that I was completely out of my league, not knowing what the heck I was doing. The recipe calls for a LOT of wine beef stock, and the TV program did not show exactly how to incorporate the flour. So that turned into a big mess (dry flour + a bottle of wine and a box of stock = lump city). My wife and I saved it, and the dish eventually came out delicious but I knew I needed help, and that is when I started looking for cooking lessons online and found Rouxbe.
So today, about a year later, I made it again. After the Rouxbe lessons about braising, stewing, sauteeing, what is a roux, how to incorporate it, how to deglaze, all of those techniques made me able to enjoy the cooking with confidence, and the dish came out spectacular! What amazed me most was how sure I was about the amount of wine and stock to use (much less than the original recipe calls for), how to put the 'roux' together and how to incorporate that with the wine and stock.
I wanted to share this because I can remember watching Joe's intro video where he talks about how he wants us to know how to cook rather than follow a recipe. Today was one of those moments that I went against the recipe because I actually knew what I was doing, and it came out great!!
So thank you Kimberly and Dawn and Joe and everyone else at Rouxbe. As a mere home cook making progress is very slow going (we only have a few chicken breasts a week to practice on). Having the help of pros like you has made a HUGE difference.
There is a substantial amount of wine in this recipe and it does contribute to the flavor of the final dish. Water will not add any flavor, so it's better to use stock. Here is a link for red wine substitutions if you want to do some experimenting. Perhaps just a little balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses can offer a bit of acidity that you'll miss out on from the wine. Cheers!
Thank you for fast answer. Just a quick follow up questions:
Could acidity be added by using fresh tomato instead of tomato paste or alongside with it?
Another newbie question, if using balsamic vinegar, how much to put in (1 tbsp?) I'm guessing the best option (if not using wine, of course :) ) would be to put stock in almost total amount of liquid and little balsamic vinegar.
In addition to the paste, I might use a bit of tomato juice with the stock instead of fresh tomatoes (the seeds could contribute some bitterness). Sure, a tablespoon or so of balsamic would be fine. Don't get carried away though.
Next time you make this dish, you might want to try it with the red wine so you can compare the flavors. Good luck!
First off. I just finished my sauce and it took everything in my power not to just eat the whole pot then and there. ... I'm saving this for tomorrow.... I'm saving this for tomorrow.
While we're being picky about the recipe. (look at my other comments, and you'll see I'm always pedantic) I noticed that the directions say to use a dutch oven, while the pictures are of a large 3 1/2 Le Creuset Buffet Casserole. The only reason this matters, I don't think my version would not have fit into the casserole. Perhaps my carrots and onions were larger etc. I agree that the Casserole is the preferred pot; in fact, when I used to sell cookware, I always recommended the Buffet Casserole and it's versatility as someones first piece of Le Creuset. Just note that the suggested ingredients volume just fit inside.
I just wanted to add that the casserole dish that is shown in the final or main picture (the teal colored one) was only used to reheat and serve the stew. We were serving it family style and I thought it would make for nicer presentation than the larger Dutch oven that I used to cook the stew in.
For more information regarding choosing the right pot, see the the topic called Choosing a Pot for Combination Cooking from the lesson on Combination Cooking. Cheers!
This type of dish is typically served in a bowl. If serving it with other sides, you could use a shallow bowl and just roughly follow the plating lesson. But really, I wouldn't get too carried away with presentation when it comes to these types of dishes as they are generally meant to be rustic and homey and not necessarily thought to be fine dining. Hope that helps. Cheers!
Love, love, LOVE this recipe!
Attempted to make beef bourg a while ago, with the meat dredged in flour; the result then was gummy meat and a smoky kitchen from the burnt flour—ick! I also didn't have a dutch oven then.
The layering of flavors in your recipe and adding the flour w/the mirepoix (instead of dredging the meat in it) made all the difference! Definitely will make more batches of this wonderful stew throughout the winter.
Thank you RouxBe!
I've seen a few recipes now requiring lardons or bacon slab with pork rind intact as an ingredient. The slab gets boiled down to remove the saltiness and I would think most of any seasoning. I haven't seen bacon slabs in the grocery stores I usually go to but have found pork belly which I think is where bacon comes from. Is fresh pork belly (which isn't seasoned) an equivalent substitute or should I be sourcing for "bacon slab" for the true flavour needed? Thanks.