Saturday, March 28, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy Stew)

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 1

When Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok , host of the almond round-up of Weekend Wokking, said she had an *ssload of BEEF, she needed to find recipes for, I took her at her word.

Oxtails are one of my favorite parts of the cow. But gosh! They're so expensive these days. When did this throwaway part become so popular?

Maybe around the same time that boeuf bourguignon (French beef burgundy) became haute cuisine?

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 2

Of course, you don't have to use oxtails, just regular stew meat would work as well. Boeuf bourguignon is a simple stew of beef cooked in red wine, preferably burgundy. Except, I don't drink burgundy. So I used a cheap shiraz that worked quite nicely. This recipe really depends on how much you like red wine, or food cooked in red wine. Like it a lot? Use the whole bottle of wine, like I did. Only a little? Use maybe a cup and adjust from there.

I, more or less, used the same method as making bo kho (Vietnamese beef stew) -- a nice long braise and added the vegetables I wanted to keep intact at the end. I initially served the stew on top of mushroom garlic polenta, but the polenta quickly absorbed all the delicious gravy. And if you're all about the gravy, as I am, I liked it much better served with French bread. Or rice or pasta would work as well.

After several days of reheating, the stew just got better and better -- the flavors got more developed, the gravy thicker, and the beef even more tender.

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 3

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy)
Adapted from "Farmer's Market Cookbook: Making the Most of Fresh and Seasonal Produce with Over 140 Recipes" by Ysanne Spevack.

For a 6-quart pot, you'll need:
1 lb beef stew meat
1 lb oxtails, or substitute with 1 lb of beef short ribs
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
6-oz can tomato paste
1 large onion, finely diced, and 1 cup pearl onions (or substitute with 1 large onion, diced)
2 carrots, finely diced
8 oz mushrooms, halved
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup to 1 bottle red wine of your choice
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley

You'll need about 1 lb beef stew meat and 1 lb oxtails. Wash and set aside.

In a large pot on high heat, saute the diced bacon until most of the fat is rendered.

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup flour over the beef, making sure to coat each piece. Pan-fry the beef and oxtails until each side is brown. You may have to do this in batches. I just move the oxtails to one side of the pot and stack them on top of each other. When the beef is all browned, add any remaining flour to the pot. It'll help thicken the stew.

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 4

Add 1 large diced onion, 2 diced carrots, and 6 minced garlic cloves. Add 1 6-oz can tomato paste. Then add 1 cup to 1 bottle of red wine, depending on preference. If you don't know what you'd like, I suggest starting with 1 cup and adjust up from there. You can always add in more wine later. Then fill your pot about 3/4 full with water. Add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp parsley.

When the water boils, turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for an hour.

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 5

Meanwhile, prepare the pearl onions and mushrooms. I used pearl onions because I couldn't resist how beautiful they looked. You can dice a large onion instead.

Add the onions and mushrooms after the stew has been simmering for an hour. Taste and add salt if necessary. If you only used 1 cup of red wine, decide at this point if you want to add more. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for another hour.

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 6

Serve with polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. Traditionally, boeuf bourguignon is served with a side of mashed potatoes.

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) 7

Since I made such a big pot, I invited Fiona of Gourmet Pigs over for lunch. Notice the clothespins on the ribbon? She came bearing shortbread cookies, a souvenir from her lunch at The French Laundry. Hey, that's probably the closest I'll ever get to French Laundry. Plus, I can use the ribbon in my quilting. :)

Afternoon Tea with French Laundry Shortbread Cookies from Gourmet Pigs


I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is BEEF. The host for April is Marija of Palachinka. Do check her blog for the beef round-up with seven recipes.

If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month. If you've participated in the past and would like to host, please email me.

Since we're celebrating beef this month, some of my beef recipes:
Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry
Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice)
Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)
Bo Kho voi Mang (Vietnamese Braised Beef with Bamboo Shoots)
Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)
Bo "Ne" Bit Tet (Vietnamese "Stand Back" Beef Steak)
Bo Nhung Dam (Vietnamese Beef Dipped in Vinegar)
Bo Nuong La Lot (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Wild Betel Leaves)
Bo Nuong La Nho (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Grape Leaves)
Bo Nuong La Tia To Dai Han (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Korean Perilla Leaves)
Bo Tai Chanh (Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio with Lemon)
Bo Xao La Lot (Vietnamese Sauteed Beef with Wild Betel Leaves)
Bo Xao voi Khoai Tay Chien (Vietnamese Beef Stir-fry with French Fries)
Bo Xao Xa (Vietnamese Beef Sauteed with Lemongrass)
Bulgogi and Kalbi/Galbi (Korean Marinated and Barbecued Beef and Short Ribs)
Bulgogi Burger
Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Hue-Style Beef Noodle Soup)
Carne Asada (Mexican Grilled Meat)
Kefta Kebabs (Middle Eastern Ground Meat Kebabs)
Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir-fry with French Fries)
Mi Xao Don Thit Bo (Vietnamese Crispy Chow Mein with Beef)
Pho Ap Chao Bo (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Rice Noodles Sauteed with Beef)
Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

1 year ago today, Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) redux.
2 years ago today, a 10 lb glut of tomatoes means balsamic vinaigrette for salads.


  1. oh oh oh i love beef and especially oxtail...let me see if i can still whip up something before deadline ^_^

  2. I agree with you about the pricey nature of oxtail nowadays. Oxtail is such a luxury for my family, that we don't even use it to make soups like pho, we use cheaper bones, and unfortunately, the flavor is not as good.

  3. WC--I agree--how come oxtails are so expensive? That's crazy.
    Your boeuf looks yummy!

  4. Hey WC - I should have invested in oxtail futures! ;o) Man, I love oxtails....but at $7.99/lb at some places. Sheesh......

  5. I know, they're always so tempting to buy. But pork is so much cheaper! (At the Asian/Chinese supermarket.) They're just under $5/lb, I believe.

  6. this looks incredibly hearty and so warm. think i could substute with chicken instead? i'm sure there's a proper french term for it, now that i think about it.

    i am not a fan of red wine, it's not pleasant to me. however, cooked down, it works, right?

  7. The gravy sure looks rich! Yumzz..pass me some rolls to wipe the plate clean please!

  8. i love oxtail too!! also agree with you on the prices- sucks!

  9. MCR,
    I know lady! You haven't participated in months. :(

    I can't even think of using it for pho. I just use cheaper bones that have marrow.

    Thanks. I think it's like how marrow has gotten so popular that even soup bones are more than $1 now.

    Man, if there was a way to invest in oxtail futures, we'd be rich!

    Funny enough, oxtails are cheaper at the Mexican market. Or rather, I can buy them in 1/2 lb packages so I'm not spending as much.

    Yup, chicken version is coq au vin. If you don't like red wine though, I'd suggest starting with only 1 cup. It's not for everyone and I'd hate for you to waste a pot of stew trying to like it.

    All gone! Guess you'll have to come back for dinner some other time. ;)

    Why do all the good things have to cost so much? :(

  10. argh, missed the event again! :P Your beef stew looks fantastic and rich in flavour, perfect for the rainy nights over here.

  11. Wiffy,
    It's OK. You can catch next month's challenge. It's sprouts!

  12. Great oxtail stew. Hard to believe they were once considered offal and practically given away free.

  13. Christine,
    Boohoo. Why can't they still be unpopular so I can afford them? :(


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