Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe
Have a big, thick pot
- cheap red wine
- 2-3 lbs beef chuck or stew meat or whatever
- 1 box of chicken stock
- 2 bags of ugly, knobby carrots. Your girlfriend will want you to peel them. Ignore her.
- 1 bag of the cheap yellow onions
- garlic – I don’t know, three or four cloves?
- maybe potatoes
- vegetable oil
Obtain a medium sized glass. Fill it with ice cubes, then the cheap red wine you’ll be cooking with. Probably Burgundy, amIright?
Cube 2-3 lbs of beef chuck. I like to cut out the bigger bits of fat too, but you don’t have to do this. It probably tastes better if you keep them, but it already tastes pretty good. Just cut ‘em up nice.
Put a cup of flour and a tbsp of salt and tbsp of pepper in a bowl, and dredge the cubes in it. If you run out of flour, add more. Pour the excess flour on the pile of cubes once you’re done. Your hands get all covered in raw meat here, so probably hold off the booze for these steps.
Melt an amount of butter in a big thick pan over high heat. Pour in a shot of vegetable oil or olive oil or whatever’s around too. When it’s hot, add the cubes one at a time until you’ve got a layer covering the bottom of the pan. Let them sizzle for a few minutes until they look nice and burnt. Like, dark brown – almost black. Don’t worry about your gross hands. Have some wine. This part always takes longer than you think it will. Then turn all the cubes and sear all the other sides too. The more burnt the better. Take these out, then do the rest of the cubes.
Take the last of the cubes out once you’re done. Keep the pot hot. Pour in an inch of Burgundy (or whatever) and get a wooden or silicone spatula and scrape all the burnt bits off the bottom of the pan.
Then, put the beef cubes back in. Then, put in the roughly chopped garlic (2-3 cloves), diced onions, shallots if there are some around, a big pile of thick unpeeled (UNPEELED!) carrots chopped into 1″-ish cylinders, and whatever else you feel like putting in. If you’re trying to impress people, just put in onions, garlic and a bunch of carrots, b/c that’s all legit bourguignon calls for.
Pour equal parts (-ish) wine and chicken broth over the stuff in the pot until everything is juuuuust submerged. Throw in a bay leaf or two also. I have no idea what they really do, but it feels more like French cooking, doesn’t it? Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down low.
Let it sit uncovered for about 4 hours over low heat, bubbling very slowly. Poke at it every so often to break the skin that sometimes forms if it’s cold in the room. About halfway through, put in potatoes if you’re so inclined. If you put them in too soon, they start falling apart towards the end. Also, don’t taste the broth until this point. Add salt or whatever you think it needs.
To cheat: if the liquid is still thin and soupy after two hours, combine like two tablespoons of cornstarch in a small bowl with a slug of wine. Swish it around until it’s turned into a slurry, then pour it in the stew.
Yeah, that’ll fix it up nice. Have a drink. Don’t tell anybody you added cornstarch.
With about an hour left, get a spoon and try to skim off as much oil and fat from the top as you can.
By the time it’s done, the meat should flake apart with a fork. I don’t always have the patience to reach this stage, and it’s still pretty good. It tastes better if you finish it, have some, put the rest in the fridge overnight, then heat it up again.