A CookBook Recipes & Other Stuff or How to Keep the Kids from Developing Beriberi After They've Moved Away From Home

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beef Stew or Beef Bourguignon

This is the beef stew I've been making for years - I thought I already had a recipe for it here, but I was wrong ...

It isn't quite Beef Bourguignon, but it isn't just plain stew either - but a sort of hybrid between them. I stole copied the recipe from Simply Recipes and rearranged it to my own version, but the basic recipe is very close to what I do myself.

You could change this recipe up quite a bit - add mushrooms or pearl onions, or parsnips or turnips or whatever. After it's done, you could bake it in a pie crust and make a beef pot pie. You could use half wine and half beef stock if you want it less winey ( I use 1.5/2 cups and save the rest for me).

Last time I made this with 4 lbs of meat and I couldn't fit the veggies in - so for a 5 qt dutch oven I would use half the amount of meat and for four lbs I would add more carrots and potatoes....

and cook in some mushrooms - about an 8 oz pack - after cooking the carrot and onion and then deglaze the pan
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided (or bacon fat)
  • 2 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes, patted dry with paper towels
  • Salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large, peeled carrots, 1 chopped, 3 cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup brandy, plus 2 Tbsp or leftover Port, or just more red wine
  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir, or other red wine (about 2.5 cups) ( I used about equal amounts of wine & stock)
  • Beef Stock, at least 1 cup, quite easily more
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 medium potatoes (Yukon gold or red)
  • Beurre manie: 3 Tbsp flour blended with 2 Tbsp butter 

Heat saute pan on medium-high. Working in batches so that you do not crowd the pan, brown the beef. Leaving space around each piece of sizzling meat ensures that it browns and does not steam. Don't move the pieces of beef in the pan until they get a good sear, then turn them so they can get browned on another side. Take your time. This will take 15-25 minutes, depending on how large a sauté pan you have. Once browned, remove the beef from the sauté pan and place in the Dutch oven.

When all the beef has browned, add the onions, and the one chopped carrot.. Stir in the pot to remove any browned, stuck-on bits in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and the tomato paste. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the brandy and stir to combine. Scrape any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the sauté pan and pour the contents of the pan into the Dutch oven.

To the Dutch oven add the bottle of wine and the beef stock - almost cover the beef; the beef pieces should be barely poking up out of the liquid. Add the parsley, thyme and cloves. Cover and bring to a bare simmer. After 1 hour, add the rest of the carrots and potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks of 1-2 inches. Continue cooking for another hour, or until the beef is tender.

Reduce the heat and stir in the beurre manie. Stir in a third of the paste, wait for it to incorporate into the sauce, then add another third of the beurre manie, and so on. Do not let this boil, but allow it to simmer very gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of brandy. Taste for salt and add some if needed.