Thursday, June 03, 2010

Beef bourguignon (beef in red wine, a la Julia Child)

I chanced upon a recipe of beef bourguignon and remembered our trip to Coron, Palawan - one of my favorite places in the Philippines. The dish happen to be offered in Bistro Coron, inarguably the best restaurant in the island. The presence of a bottle of red wine in the house made me decide to finally try the recipe, which was adopted from simplyrecipes using Julia Child's version.

I noticed there are a lot of recipes for beef in red wine sauce (I even consulted my French cookbook) but this version is simply SUPERB! Kudos to Julia and simplyrecipes :) Sauteeing the beef in bacon (and bacon fat) and mixing pearlized onions and mushrooms just as the beef stew is about to be cooked makes all the difference.


6 pieces of bacon (I used the smoked variety, local brand)
olive oil
beef cubes
salt and pepper
sliced onions
carrots or baby carrots (I used the latter)
about 2 cups of red wine
beef stock
chopped tomatoes
herb bouquet (in its absence, I just added chopped garlic and bay leaf into the boiling pot)
*better if you have herbs like parsley and thyme

more sliced onions
button mushrooms

1. Blanch bacon in boiling water, drain and dry on paper napkins or towels. Slice bacon into one-inch pieces and saute in its own oil. Add olive oil, then brown beef cubes in mixture of bacon fat and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a Dutch oven or casserole pan.

2. Add sliced vegetables to the pan and deglaze with wine. Pour enough stock to cover the meat. Add tomatoes, garlic and onion.

3. In a separate pan, saute chopped onions in a mix of olive oil and butter. Add chicken stock or water, brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer till the onions have absorbed most of the water. Set aaside.

4. Next, saute sliced mushrooms in olive oil and butter.

5. Fold the onions and mushrooms into the simmering stew. Serve with steamed rice, bread or potatoes.Blanch bacon in boiling water, drain and dry on paper napkins or towels