Beef stew has always been a long-celebrated main dish. It's what we call a "man's dish", since it's hearty enough to satisfy a man's appetite. This is also what we call a classic "meat and potatoes" dish and for many, that's the kind of dishes most people prefer. You may be venturing into trying something outside of the regular beef stew and that brings me to the recipe for today, which is for "Burgundy Beef Stew", or if you speak French, "Boeuf Bouguignon".
When you mention French cooking to some, they react with a cringe! Many believe that French food is expensive and hard to prepare. This is true to a degree, but this recipe is quite easy on your budget. The most expensive item that you may have to purchase is the red Burgundy wine. Otherwise, everything else is easy to find and not necessarily expensive!
To begin, you start with bacon, which you fry until crisp. Stewing beef is coated in flour and browned in the bacon fat. The Burgundy wine and some water is added, along with some seasonings. This is simmered for about 1-1/2 hours. You then saute mushrooms and onions and this, along with the cooked bacon, is added to the beef and cooked for 10 more minutes. This can be served as is or over noodles. This, along with a salad and French bread will complete the meal.
A hint about the beef: if you prefer smaller pieces of beef, you could use beef tips, using the same 2 pounds as you would in using the beef for stewing. Prepare these the very same way you would the stewing beef and proceed with the recipe. If you happen to catch beef tips on sale in the grocery, this would be a great way to use them in this recipe and save some money, too.
If you'd like a French dessert to go with this meal, I gave a recipe for a "French Orange Cake" in a previous column. To get this recipe, follow the link below:
For a new taste to beef stew, this recipe will certainly be something new, different and good eating!
BURGUNDY BEEF STEW ("BOEUF BOURGUIGNON")
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 2 lbs. stewing beef
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups red Burgundy wine
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- fresh parsley for garnishing (optional)
Fry bacon in a deep Dutch oven until crisp; remove and drain. Dredge beef in flour and brown in the hot bacon fat. Drain any excess fat. Add the wine, along with just enough water to cover the beef. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, salt, bouillon, thyme and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and onions, sauteeing over medium heat until onions are tender. Add these vegetables, along with the reserved bacon to the hot beef. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Turn into a serving dish and sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve with noodles, a salad and French bread. Yield: 8 servings.