Modern Beef Burgundy

September 27, 2014

One of my favorite dishes to make during the cold months between October and March is Beef Burgundy (This has been a cool September here in the Northeast). The long cooking time warms my house for most of the day, and the building aromas eventually become overwhelmingly delicious. A Pavlovian response is guaranteed. Lately, Chris Kimball has been adapting recipes to avoid the traditional stove-top searing of meat; the technique has been relatively successful with heavily-spiced, Latin-themed recipes (see here and here). However, I don’t think the short-cut works in more delicately flavored French stews. I can taste the difference of beef caramelized in the oven and on the stove-top. In the future I will save this recipe for large gatherings when I cannot afford the traditional, labor-intensive technique in Julia Child’s 6-hour recipe. Even still, I prefer Chris Kimball’s 3-hour recipe over today’s recipe. Still a delicious 4-stars.

One of my favorite meals

One of my favorite meals

Chris Kimball’s oven-carmelization has a more muted, dulled flavor. Beef browned on the stove-top is brighter, more flavorful, and taste exactly as you think browned beef should taste. Plus this short-cut recipe only saves about 30-minutes; I recommend against it in favor of the full 6 hour Julia Child’s recipe.

Comment:

  1. The above photo is actually of a different Beef Burgundy recipe, but I was too busy to take a picture the day of the meal. I had intended to take a picture of the leftovers, but leftover Beef Burgundy doesn’t last long in my house.
  2. BTW, this is recipe number 450 that I’ve posted on this blog. Wow, that’s a lot of cooking. lol

Rating: 4-star.
Cost: $27.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 12:30 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

4-lb boneless beef chuck-eye roast
Salt and pepper
6 ounces salt pork
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1-1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef broth (32-oz)
1 bottle red Burgundy (Pinot Noir, 750-ml)
5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 onions, chopped coarse
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 garlic head, cloves separated, unpeeled, and crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
10 sprigs fresh parsley, plus 3 tablespoons minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme

  1. Thaw your frozen pearl onions. Trim your roast and cut into 1-1/2″ to 2″ pieces, adding to a medium bowl. Reserve the scraps into a large roasting pan for Step 4. Sprinkle beef cubes with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Toss to mix and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut 6-oz of salt pork into 1/4″ pieces, and place into a large roasting pan. Cut the large mushrooms into quarters, and medium mushrooms in half; placing on a rimmed baking sheet. Coarsely chop your onions, and peel carrots and cut them into 2″-lengths.
  3. Set up your oven by putting one rack in lower-middle of your oven and a second rack in the lowest positions of your oven. Pre-heat to 500-degrees.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the large roasting pan with salt pork and beef scraps. Roast on lower-middle rack until well browned for 15-to-20 minutes until the fat has rendered.
  5. Add pearl onions, 1 tablespoon butter, and sugar together with the mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet. Toss to combine and roast on lowest oven rack for 15-to-20 minutes. After the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated and vegetables are lightly glazed, empty into large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  6. After removing the roasting pan from the oven, reduce temperature to 325-degrees. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over rendered fat and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in 4 cups beef broth, 2 cups wine, 5 teaspoons gelatin, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and 1 teaspoon anchovy paste. Add onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, porcini mushrooms, parsley sprigs, and thyme to pan. Arrange beef into a single layer on top of vegetables. Add water (perhaps 2 cups) as needed to come three-quarters up side of beef. Beef should not be submerged.
  7. Bake for 3 to 3-1/2 hours at 325-degrees until the meat becomes tender, stirring after 90 minutes and adding water to keep the meat at least half-submerged.
  8. Remove beef with a slotted spoon, adding to the bowl with cremini mushrooms and pearl onions; cover and set aside on the counter-top.
  9. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium/large bowl, and strain braising liquid, pressing on solids to yield as much liquid as possible. Discard the spent solids. Stir in the remaining wine and allow cooking liquid settle for 10 minutes. Using a wide shallow spoon to skim fat off surface and discard.
  10. Add strained liquid to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high burner. Reduce burner to maintain a brisk simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream
  11. Reduce burner to medium-low, and stir in beef and mushroom-onion garnish. Cover pot, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until just heated through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper according to your taste. Stir in minced parsley and serve.
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