Step by step recipe:
- 15 min.Cut 800 g beef in pieces, remove and dispose everything that is not good meat (skin, nerve, strong parts), it's the main secret of boeuf bourgignon: a perfect meat at the beginning.
- 5 min.Cut 250 g smoked pork belly (or thick cut streaky bacon) in small pieces.
- 5 min.
- 2 min.In a big pan on medium fire, pour 3 tablespoons oil, when hot add grinded onion and bacon, mix well, pepper and some salt.
- 4 min.Make cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, then remove pan from fire and with a skimmer put mixture in a plate, leave only some fat in the pan.
- 1 min.Put back pan on lively fire, add meat pieces...
- 8 min....and make brown on each sides.
- 1 min.
- 2 min.Add onion mix, stir again.
- 1 min.Add 750 ml red wine.
- 30 min.
- 5 min.During this time, peel, wash and cut 3 carrots in pieces.
- 2 hoursAdd them in the pan, and let cook uncovered for at least 2 hours.
- 25 min.During this time, peel, wash and make cook 1 kg potatoes in water.
- 10 min.During this time, peel and slice 250 g mushrooms.
- 1 min.Add mushrooms in the pan about 30 minutes before serving.
- 5 min.You can brown potatoes in a frying pan with 1 tbs of oil, not absolutely needed, but in my opinion much better.
- 5 min.Preparing sauce:
Put everything solid from pan in a strainer on another pan.
Dispose bouquet garni.
Your goal is to have have only liquid part in the pan, and all solid part in another.
- 5 min.Put back pan with liquid on medium fire, when boiling add 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with some cold water.
Whip strongly to thicken sauce, then taste to check seasoning.
- 10 min.Put back meat and vegetables in the smooth and tasty sauce, slow fire, and let stay until service time.
- Heat plates and serve with potatoes.
Remarks:Bœuf Bourguignon is one of those dishes that get better each time they are reheated, so don't hesitate to make a lot in one go and then reheat it several times.
For the wine, it should be ideally a red Burgundy made from pinot noir grapes, but if you can't get one from this area at a reasonable price, try to get another pinot noir if possible.
If you have a good butcher, ask his advice about suitable cuts of beef for bourguignon, otherwise remember you don't need an expensive cut like steak, but preferably a cheaper cut suited to long slow cooking (such as stewing steak).
If one day you eat bœuf bourguignon in a restaurant and you get served meat that is tough with skin or gristle, you are in a bad place with a bad chef: leave without even having a dessert or coffee (the bill will certainly be bad news too!).
Years ago it was usual to thicken the sauce with a "roux" (mix of cooked butter and flour), it's efficient but unfortunately it dulls the flavour of the sauce. Bernard Loiseau the famous French chef, in his day, suggested replacing the roux with a little carrot purée, but cornflour also works well.