(Above: Watch the video to see how Boston Chef Dante de Magistris makes steak pizzaiola in a slow cooker or read the recipe below.)
(Above: Be sure to dry the beef with paper towels before frying. Damp meat won’t brown properly.)
This is the classic beef bourguignon recipe from Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” cookbook.
It is complicated and can take several hours but it is delicious.
If you’re looking for an easier recipe where you throw everything into a pot and wait 2 hours, try this one: Beef Bourguignon II: An Easier Recipe.
Boeuf BOURGUIGNON (From Julia Child)
- 3-4 pounds boneless beef stew meat cut into cubes.
- Olive oil
- 2/3 cup of carrots
- 5-6 cups of red wine (I used my award-winning homemade zinfandel)
- 2-3 large, unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 cups of tomatoes (1 whole unpeeled tomato, cored and chopped, plus a can of drained Italian plum tomatoes)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- 4 tbs flour and 4 tbs of softened butter to make a paste for the finishing sauce, called “beurre-manie” sauce
- 24 small onions, cooked in oil until brown, and then braised over the stove in a mixture of chicken stock and red wine (which covers them only half way). Cook until tender but not falling apart.
- 3 cups of quartered mushrooms, cooked in oil and butter and chopped shallots, until tender and golden brown.
- Step 1 Dry the meat with paper towels and then brown in batches in a large frying pan with a film of olive oil. Transfer browned beef into a large stockpot.
- Step 2 Leave a spoonful of the fat in the frying pan and cook the sliced carrots, stirring and tossing until brown. And then scrape them out of the pan and into the stockpot with the beef.
- Step 3 Pour a cup of wine over the hot frying pan and deglaze, scrapping up all of the bits on the bottom of the pan and then pour over the beef and carrots in the stockpot.
- Step 4 Add the garlic and four more cups of wine to the stockpot. Fold in the tomatoes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and salt to taste. The liquid should just about cover the beef. If it doesn’t add more.
- Step 5 Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, and then cook at a slow simmer for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Step 6 Put a colander inside a sauce pan and drain mixture from stockpot. Rinse out the stockpot and put the beef and carrots back in it.
- Step 7 Degrease the cooking liquid by skimming a spoon on top to take out the fat (about tablespoons or so). Boil the liquid to reduce it a little and adjust seasonings to your taste. You should have about 3 cups.
- Step 8 Make the beurre-manie sauce by mixing the flour with the butter with very clean hands until if forms a paste or a lump, resembling dough. Whisk this into the cooking liquid until dissolved and then bring the mixture to a boil again so that the sauce thickens. (Note: If the sauce is not thick enough, make some more of the beurre-manie sauce and repeat.)
- Step 9 Pour sauce over beef and carrots in the stockpot. And then fold in the onions and mushrooms. Simmer for about 2 minutes to blend all of the flavors.
- Step 10 Serve on a plate with potatoes and a slice of crusty bread.Eat with a nice glass of zinfandel.
(Above: The sauce, with hints of brandy, white wine, and herbs blends well with the savory flavor of hot mashed potatoes.)
Coq au vin is traditionally made with red wine but I wasn’t in the mood for such a deep strong flavor. So I decided to make it using white wine and the results were perfect.
A few nights ago, I made a traditional beef bourguignon and followed that recipe, substituting bone-in chicken breasts and thighs for beef and white wine for red. I also used chicken stock, instead of beef.
The result was a light orange-colored sauce that had hints of brandy, white wine and gentle herbs. It went well with mashed potatoes.
Coq Au Vin Blanc
- Salt, to taste
- 5 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, stems removed and cut into quarters (I used button mushrooms and portobello
- oyster mushrooms would be nice too.)
- 5 lbs (roughly), bone-in chicken breasts and thighs, cut up into large 2-inch chunks.
- 1 cup chicken broth, divided
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb. whole pearl onions, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 3 cups chardonnay (or white burgundy)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Bouquet garni, 1
- Step 1 Heat a 5 qt. cocotte over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.
- Step 2 Add the mushrooms to the cocotte and cook until golden and just tender, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to the plate with the bacon.
- Step 3 Season the chicken generously with the salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, warm the cocotte. Working in 3 batches, brown the chicken on all sides until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Step 4 After the last batch of chicken is browned, deglaze the cocotte with 1/2 cup chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return all the chicken, bacon, and mushrooms to the cocotte. Add the flour, stir to coat evenly, and cook for 1 minute.
- Step 5 Add the carrots, pearl onions, garlic, and tomato paste to the cocotte. Add the brandy and simmer for 30 seconds. Add the wine, remaining chicken broth, and bouquet garni to the cocotte and increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the liquid to a boil.
- Step 6 Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour. Check the stew and give it a stir. Continue cooking the stew, covered, until the chicken is fork-tender, about 30 minutes more. Taste the liquid and season with salt and pepper, if desired, and discard the bouquet garni.
- Step 7 Spoon the coq au vin into a shallow bowl. Serve with potatoes and garnish with parsley.