Politically Correct Beef Burgundy
Hey friends, how’s it going? I’ve actually had a couple of kind inquiries about my health due to my two-week bloggy absence – rest assured, everything’s fine here, in fact great. My excuse? Um…total and complete obsession with the presidential election. I confess, I got bit hard by the political bug this cycle. I just love absorbing it, the strategies, the moves, the ins and outs, ups and downs. I have a limited amount of time each day I can allocate to being online and well, er, the election won over my blog. So not moderate, I know. But I’m back now, my guy won and since he seems to be moving on pretty well without my strategic advice, I’ll let it go now. (In my next life I’ll have to be a political operative, though, yeah…)
I wasn’t all politics, all the time, however – I did actually feed my family. Even my extended family, when my cousin Peter, his wife Kristin, and their adorable twin daughters Erin and Emily came for a visit from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. My aunts Mary and Marge drove in too, and my cousin Kim, and we had a grand time last Saturday night catching up. Erin and Emily are two – yes, twin two-year olds, busy and clever and everywhere all at once, just as you might imagine. They both love to sing, especially Erin, and the stereo effect of twin toddler song is beyond cute. They regaled us with song and chat for more than a couple of hours at the dinner table, an impressive feat for two busy two-year olds. It was a complete blast.
I made beef burgundy, inspired by a lovely coq qu vin that John and I split at Salut Bar Americain last week (I believe it’s their Monday night chicken special – I recommend it very highly). Great do-ahead dish, beef burgundy, although lengthy to prepare – split it into two days of prep and you’ll be sitting pretty for your next dinner party. We opened with a simple salad, with parsleyed potatoes alongside the beef, and my aunt Marge’s apple crisp for dessert. Uff da that was a meal. (Recipe posted in comments, below.)
John and I in fact hit Salut twice in three days, no lie. Somewhere between Politico and Pollster, we fit in a lovely lunch at Salut’s bar – steak frites with a glass of burgundy. Romantic, delicious, just lovely all ’round. I’ve had a French thing ever since – beef burgundy on Saturday, followed by a simple cheese souffle on Monday night. So airy and pretty, souffle, and so easy too. Tres bien.
Moderate it: if I’m serving potatoes, I don’t also serve bread, although I did bend that rule a bit and put croutons in the salad I served as a first course.
Oooh, love crepes, I'll give them a try next time I'm there, thanks for the tip!
What a coincidence; my guy won, too!
Love Salut. The chicken artichoke crepes are fabulous, BTW.
From Cooks’ Illustrated
If you cannot find salt pork, thick-cut bacon can be substituted. Cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces and treat it just as you would salt pork, but note that you will have no rind to include in the vegetable and herb bouquet. Boiled potatoes are the traditional accompaniment, but mashed potatoes or buttered noodles are nice as well.
6ounces salt pork , trimmed of rind (see Step 1 below),
rind reserved, and salt pork cut into 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch
by 1-inch pieces
10 sprigs fresh parsley leaves , torn into quarters
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium onions , chopped coarse
2 medium carrots , chopped coarse
1 medium head garlic , cloves separated and crushed but unpeeled
2 bay leaves , crumbled
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 - 4 1/4 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 bottle red burgundy wine (750 ml) or Pinot Noir
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Onion and Mushroom Garnish
36 frozen pearl onions (about 7 ounces)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
10 ounces white mushrooms , whole if small, halved if
medium, quartered if large
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Bring salt pork, reserved salt pork rind, and 3 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Boil 2 minutes, then drain well.
2. Cut two 22-inch lengths cheesecloth. Wrap parsley, thyme, onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, porcini mushrooms, and blanched salt pork rind in cheesecloth, tie with kitchen string, and set in 8-quart nonreactive Dutch oven. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
3. Set 12-inch skillet with salt pork over medium heat; sauté until lightly brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to Dutch oven; pour off all but 2 teaspoons fat and reserve. Season beef with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and brown half of beef in single layer, turning once or twice, until deep brown, about 7 minutes; transfer browned beef to Dutch oven. Pour 1/2 cup water into skillet and scrape pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; when pan bottom is clean, pour liquid into Dutch oven.
4. Return skillet to high heat and add 2 teaspoons reserved pork fat; swirl to coat pan bottom. When fat begins to smoke, brown remaining beef in single layer, turning once or twice, until deep brown, about 7 minutes; transfer browned beef to Dutch
oven. Pour 1/2 cup water into skillet and scrape pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits; when pan bottom is clean, pour liquid into Dutch oven.
5. Set now-empty skillet over medium heat; add butter. When foaming subsides, whisk in flour until evenly moistened and pasty. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture has toasty aroma and resembles light-colored peanut butter, about 5 minutes.
Gradually whisk in chicken broth and 11/2 cups water; increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened. Pour mixture into Dutch oven. Add 3 cups wine, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste to Dutch oven and
stir to combine. Set Dutch oven over high heat and bring to boil. Cover and set pot in oven; cook until meat is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
6. Remove Dutch oven from oven and, using tongs, transfer vegetable and herb bouquet to strainer set over pot. Press out liquid into pot and discard bouquet. With slotted spoon, remove beef to medium bowl; set aside. Allow braising liquid to settle about 15 minutes, then, with wide shallow spoon, skim fat off surface and discard.
7. Bring liquid in Dutch oven to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally to ensure that bottom is not burning, until sauce is reduced to about 3 cups and thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 15 to 25 minutes.
8. While sauce is reducing, bring pearl onions, butter, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to boil in medium skillet over high heat; cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, shaking pan occasionally, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and vegetables are browned and glazed, about 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large plate and set aside. Add 1/4 cup water to skillet and stir with wooden
spoon to loosen browned bits. When pan bottom and sides are clean, add liquid to reducing sauce.
9. When sauce has reduced to about 3 cups and thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, reduce heat to medium-low; stir in beef, mushrooms and onions (and any accumulated juices), remaining wine from bottle, and brandy into Dutch oven.
Cover pot and cook until just heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve, sprinkling individual servings with minced parsley.
omg, what a view of The Jowls in that photo.