Boeuf a la Bourguignonne
kg (2 1/4 lb) braising steak, cut into 3/4" cubes
bottle of Burgundy or other Pinot Noir wine
g. (4 oz) shallots, sliced
g (1 lb) button mushrooms, sliced
generous glassful of port
ml (1/2 pint) whipping cream
tablespoons of flour
litre (3/4 pint) chicken or brown stock
sprigs of fresh tarragon
sprigs of fresh thyme
g (1 oz) unsalted butter
or vegetable oil
g (1/2 lb) baby onions, plunged into boiling water and peeled
g (1/2 lb) small button mushrooms
g (1/2 lb) smoked bacon, cut into small cubes and blanched in boiling
a frying pan, heat a little oil. When the oil is very hot, add the
butter and then the pieces of meat to colour well. If you have a small
pan, then do this in two or three stages. Once the meat has coloured,
remove from the pan and place into a large saucepan.
the same frying pan, add the shallots and sweat them for 2 minutes
(but do not allow to colour). Add the mushrooms and sweat for a further
3 minutes, until they are slippery in texture. Add the flour and cook
for 2 minutes. Now add the wine and port, scrape the bottom of the
frying pan to deglaze, then pour into the saucepan with the browned
meat. Reduce the wine slowly by half.
add the chicken stock, tarragon, black peppercorns, cream and thyme,
and season with a little salt. Bring to the boil, and reduce to a
gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours. If the sauce becomes too thick
during cooking, then thin down with water. Once the meat is cooked,
use a slotted spoon to take out the meat. Bring the sauce to the boil,
skim, and reduce to a consistency that coats the back of a spoon.
Adjust the seasoning, and add the meat back to the sauce.
the garnish, cook the button onions in water, butter and a pinch of
sugar. Let the water reduce complete to glaze the onions. Lightly
fry the blanched bacon and drain from its fat. Finally, fry the button
mushrooms in butter.
add the garnish to the beef and leave to stew through together before
serving. The dish can be garnished with some carrot batons and green
beans to make a complete main course.
Michael's boeuf a la bourguignonne cries out for a really great
bottle of Burgundy to accompany it, a classic Pinot Noir at its silkiest
and classiest. However, for our Ride for Life evening, I chose
instead to match this great regional dish with a Tuscan classic, Castello
di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva. The elegant and restrained fruit
of the Sangiovese married excellently with the dish without overpowering