I’m back in Paris, home from a wonderfully relaxing holiday at my mom’s: Afternoons by a crackling fire; peaceful moments gazing out the window as snowflakes the size of a quarter dance down from the sky; hours in the kitchen teaching my mom how to cook French meals and recreating some our most treasured family recipes. And, of course, the family meals when we got to enjoy the product of all those gastronomic efforts. One of these delights was Boeuf Bourguignon.
For a long time now I’ve been meaning to do a video on Boeuf Bourguignon. It is one of my favorite French meals, the one recipe I always go to when I’m having a dinner party, and the first French recipe I learned how to make really well. It is perfect for a dinner party as you can cook it the day before – it’s actually better the longer you let it marinate in its own sauce – so the day of your party all you have to do is warm it up and serve. No standing over spitting grease from sautéing in your party dress with this recipe!
I have been making this meal now for years and my recipe is based on the famous Julia Child’s version, reinvigorated by the film Julie & Julia not too long ago, with modification from my belle-mère and conversations with several other French ladies who all have their own secrets on making a perfect Bourguignon. I sometimes get the feeling that every French family has their very own variety of the French classic.
In this video, I made a Boeuf Bourguignon for a party of 8 with North American ingredients. They are as follows:
- 250g (8.8 oz) lardon (smoked side of pork) chopped
- 1.2 kg (42 oz) stewing beef cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- 2 large carrots sliced
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic sliced
- 3 cups beef bouillon
- a little over half a bottle of red wine or 550 ml (Bourgogne, Bordeaux)
- 1 handful chopped parsley (plus several sprigs for plate decoration)
- 1 tablespoon pastry flour
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 New Potatoes/ persons (cooked separately)
- a Bay leaf
- ground pepper
The preparation is a bit long, about 45 minutes. Cook at 400F for 2.5-3 hours. Reheat at 250F for at least an hour before serving, if made in advance. Plate the boiled and buttered potatoes covered with the Boeuf Bourguignon and lots of sauce over the whole. Serve with a simple green salad and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
The video was too long for Youtube, so it has been cut into two parts:
Wine choice: Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Loire Valley in France or Merlot in the States.