Recipe: Jacques Pepin’s Beef Bourguignon (Beef Stew In Red Wine Sauce)

Beef bourguignon 2

Adapted from Jacques Pepin in Food & Wine.

Melt in your mouth unctuousness is the best way to describe this dish. Perfect for a lazy Autumn or winter Sunday afternoon, or anytime you want stick to your ribs goodness.

I learned, from watching the Food Network, that the base of a stew was water or some type of stock, like beef or chicken.  I recall watching Jacques Pepin make his stew on PBS by pouring in an entire bottle of red wine, and no other liquid. That got my attention.

I modified this dish by using a lower heat, a technique I learned from Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked, and added a small can of tomato paste, for color and thickening.  I always serve this dish over French style sauteed root vegetables; recipe here, or you can ladle over pasta, rice, or any vegetables you like.

Serves 5-6 with leftovers, 4-6 hours cooking time

What You’ll Need

Beef Chuck, 2 pounds, cut into 1″ cubes, local, grass fed,

Short Ribs, 4 large, on the bone, local, grass fed

Bacon, 2 thick slices, smoked, nitrate free, chopped

Red Wine, 1 bottle of your favorite, I like a Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon

Carrots, 2 large, chopped fine

Onion, 1 large, chopped fine

Celery, 2 stalks, chopped fine

Garlic, 5 cloves, chopped fine

Olive oil, extra virgin, 4-5 tbsp

Tomato paste, one 6 oz can

Thyme, fresh, 2 tbsp, chopped, or 1 tbsp dried

Bay leaves, 3 dried

Sea salt & pepper to taste

To Prepare

Preheat the oven to 250°. Heat over medium-high heat a large enameled cast-iron casserole, then arrange the meat in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes.  Remove the meat.

Adjust the heat to medium, add the bacon and cook until crispy, stirring often.  Add the chopped onion and 1 tbsp olive oil and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened, 5 minutes, scraping up the bits of meat.  Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add enough wine to scrape the remaining bits of meat from the bottom, add the rest of the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 4-6 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful. (It will probably be ready in 1 1/2 hour, but cooking it for 4-6 hours transforms it from a good dish to a masterpiece.)

To serve, ladle some of the vegetables into a bowl, top with the stew and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley. Bon appetit!

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