Dining Tip: Boeuf Bourguignon

Chef Thomas Keller's recipe, inspired by Julia Child
Feb 15, 2010

• 1 bottle hearty red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
• 2 cups diced yellow onions
• 1 2/3 cups peeled and sliced carrots
• 2 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
• 1 cup sliced shallots
• 1 cup button mushrooms, plus 32 individual mushrooms with stems cut flush to caps
• 12 thyme sprigs
• 14 Italian parsley sprigs
• 7 bay leaves
• 1 3/4 teaspoons black peppercorns
• 9 large garlic cloves, skin left on and smashed
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch-by-1-inch pieces
• Canola oil
• 6 to 8 cups veal or beef stock
• 8 ounces small fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
• 16 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
• 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into 24 lardons 1 1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch thick
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 12 red pearl onions and 12 white pearl onions, cooked
• Fleur de sel
• Dijon mustard

1. To make the red-wine reduction, combine the wine, 1 cup onions, 1 cup carrots, 1 cup leeks, 1 cup shallots, 1 cup mushrooms, 3 thyme sprigs, 6 Italian parsley sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns and 3 garlic cloves in a large ovenproof pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until the wine has reduced to a glaze.

2. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add just enough meat so as not to crowd the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if necessary.

3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Add 3 thyme sprigs, 3 Italian parsley sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 2 garlic cloves, and the remaining 1 cup onions, 2/3 cup carrots and 1 1/2 cups leeks to the red-wine reduction, and toss together. Wet and wring dry enough cheesecloth to cover about 4 inches more than the diameter of the pot. Cover the vegetables with the cheesecloth, tucking in the edges to form a nest shape. Place the meat in the nest, and add enough stock to just cover the meat. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer to the oven. Reduce the heat to 325° F, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

4. Transfer the meat to an oven-proof pot or container, and discard the cheesecloth. Strain the liquid twice through a fine strainer, the second time into a saucepan, and discard the vegetables. Bring the liquid to a boil, spooning off any fat that rises to the top of the mixture. Strain the liquid over the meat. Let it cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day, up to 3 days.

5. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Remove the meat from the refrigerator, and skim off any congealed fat from the top.

6. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan along with 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover the potatoes with an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, cool, discard the seasonings, and set aside.

7. Place the baby carrots in a medium saucepan with 4 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover with 1 1/2 inches water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, cool, discard the seasonings, and set aside.

8. Spread the lardons in a single layer on a nonstick or foil-lined sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, stir, and return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Drain on paper towels.

9. Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat until the foam subsides. Add the remaining 32 mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium-low, and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently, tossing often, until the mushrooms are lightly browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

10. Carefully transfer the pieces of meat to a deep, ovenproof sauté pan. Strain the liquid over the meat. Warm the meat in the oven for about 5 minutes, basting occasionally. Add the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions, and toss gently. Roast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are hot.

11. Meanwhile, warm the lardons in a small skillet. Chop the leaves of the remaining 5 sprigs parsley.

12. Remove the sauté pan from the oven, and gently toss in the parsley. With a slotted spoon, divide the meat and vegetables among 4 plates. Spoon some of the sauce over each serving. Distribute the lardons among the plates. Sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve immediately with Dijon mustard. Serves 4.

Free content: Chef Thomas Keller shares his memories of Julia Child in this video
WineSpectator.com members only: Try more recipes inspired by Julia Child

Cooking Pairings Winter Red Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

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