Friday, March 9, 2012

Beef Bourguignon

After getting my new dutch oven, I soon decided that the first recipe I wanted to make was Beef Bourguignon, in honor of the first official date my husband and I went on where he took me to a Braising cooking class.  I used the recipe we followed in class and it came out delicious, perhaps even better than the first time we made it.  The gravy-sauce was delicious on brown rice and would be great on noodles or even sopped up with a piece of crusty bread.  We enjoyed the leftovers for lunch during the week and even froze some of the sauce to savor later.   My first use of the dutch oven has convinced me that it is my favorite piece of cookware in our entire kitchen.  The pot heats up quickly, meat browns so nicely, and cleanup is so much easier than anticipated! 

Beef Bourguignon
serves 6-8

2.5 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
12 mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
salt and pepper
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons cornstarch, more if needed
  1. Coat beef chuck pieces lightly with flour.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter.  Working in batches, sear the beef pieces so each side is nicely browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Discard oil.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same Dutch oven.  Add mushrooms, garlic, and leeks and saute lightly. 
  3. Return beef to the pot and season well with salt and pepper.  Add stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours.  Taste meat for tenderness. 
  4. After the meat reaches desired tenderness, skim off excess fat from the sauce.  Transfer beef to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.  Remove about 1 cup of the sauce and mix well with cornstarch.  Pour cornstarch-sauce mixture back into the Dutch oven to thicken the sauce.  Taste and correct seasonings as desired. 
  5. Serve with noodles or rice.  Place a few pieces of beef on noddles or rice and spoon sauce over the plate.  This dish can be prepared beforehand and reheated or frozen for another meal. 

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