After many years of searching and testing, we came to the conclusion that the legendary Julia Child had the definitive recipe. And we’re not the only ones. Thomas Kellar, the brilliant Chef-Patron of the French Laundry in Napa Valley, California, also says that it’s his go-to recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. The best pan to use for a Boeuf Bourguignon is a Le Creuset cast iron as it spreads the heat quickly and evenly.
Ingredients and Method
180g piece of streaky bacon
Remove the rind and cut the bacon into lardons. Simmer the rind and bacon in 750ml water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
A large oven-proof pan
1 Tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
A slotted spoon
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Leave the oven-proof pan on the heat until the fat is almost smoking to sauté the beef.
1,5kg lean stewing steak, cut into 5cm cubes
Dry the beef; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle in the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Place the casserole in the middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and turn oven down to 160°C.
750ml full-bodied young red wine or a Chianti
500-600ml brown beef stock
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ tsp thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
the blanched bacon rind
Stir in the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to simmering point on top of stove. Then cover the casserole and place in the lower part of preheated oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3-4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
18-24 small onions, brown braised in stock
500g quartered fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Leave them aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer the sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 600ml sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
(*) Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING
Cover the casserole and simmer for 2-3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a dish surrounded with boiled potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.
FOR SERVING LATER
When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15-20 minutes before serving, bring to simmering point, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours
Wine advice: Villa Wolf – Pinot Noir