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Nov 29, 2005 01:50 PM

Beef Bourguignon

  • j

I'm thinking of making this for our Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner. Looking for a great recipe and helpful hints! TIA

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  1. Also forgot to ask, would this go well with the Celery Root Gratin?

    2 Replies
    1. re: jess

      Too much stuff in the Comfort Corner, I think; too much richness. I'd go with a relatively simple green vegetable - nice fresh green beans cooked in the French manner (parboiled in lots of salted water, chilled and drained, then lightly sautéed in butter to finish) would be my first choice. Or broiled tomatoes and a green salad.

      I have no favorite recipes for the beef; I think the last one I made was from Julia Child (well, that's a safe bet), but there aren't many bad ones out there. Just avoid any labelled as "quick'n'easy"!

      1. re: jess

        I agree with Will, it would also be two rather wet dishes. If you want celery root why not a celery root remoulade for a starter?

      2. See the coq au vin thread regarding making the stew before hand.

        1. There are many good recipes for BB. Just be sure to include some orange peel - either zested or dried to give it that added je ne sais quoi.

          Be sure to check the beef cubes, though. I made a daube for a large dinner party once and overcooked it so that the beef cubes fell apart into a stringy glop. That's fine for taco filling but not so good for beef stew.

          1. I've made it many times from JC's recipe in the first volume of Mastering. It's consistently excellent.

            Be sure to use chuck rather than a more expensive cut - the collagen in chuck, with long slow cooking in moist heat, cooks down to gelatin and makes the meat tender without it becoming dry. It's easy to slip into the "if chuck is good, then sirloin is better" thing - for this recipe chuck is better. I always buy large thick chuck steaks (sometimes roasts) and cut up my own stew meat - the stores never seem to cut it into the larger pieces (2 X 2 inch minimum) that are necessary for a superior result.

            Don't skimp on the lardons at the beginning - they add a wonderful "mouth feel" and flavor nuances that you really want. I also like to use somewhat more wine and stock than JC calls for, ultimately reducing all at the end to get a stronger-flavored sauce. Don't be afraid to really reduce the liquid. Remember that the dish is intended to be more like meat and vegetables with a thick sauce, not like a soup.

            The separate brown-braising of the onions and sauteeing of the mushrooms is important, so avoid the temptation to just throw them in with the beef. I like to use golf-ball size rather than true pearl onions because they're much less work and I think the flavor stands out better.

            It's really a very, very simple recipe and hard to mess up and it's also great for allowing you to spend time with your guests, particularly if you make it the day before, which only improves things.

            2 Replies
            1. re: FlyFish

              This is definitely the best recipe I've found. I, too, use more broth and more wine. Meat-wise, I've subbed short ribs also. Recently, I tried it with a whole chuck roast (~3 lbs) instead of the cubes and it turned out nicely and reheated well. I agree, though, that the leaner cuts don't work so well. A heavy casserole with a tight-fitting lid is a must.

              Re. the veg decision, Jules recommends plain buttered peas. We usually have that or some plain green beans. And a brussels sprouts with mustard recipe is good, too--the mustard cuts the fat a little bit. That's on

              1. re: Sallie

                I too love this recipe.

            2. The best all time recipe is still from Julia Child The Art of French Cooking. There is a whole thread on it somewhere.

              Try is divine.