Braised Beef

Here's a question for you:  what is the difference between beef bourguignon and braised beef?

A few vegetables.  And a French name.

Both have onions, tomatoes in some format, mushrooms, herbs and spices, broth, red wine and, of course, the beef.  Bring to a boil, lower heat then simmer for a few hours.  Except  bourguignon has various other veggies, usually of the root persuasion, tossed in.  That's pretty much the only difference.

Yes, I know, there are as many different variations of this dish as there are cooks, so please don't go yelling/bragging about how your way of braising/bourgugnonning is different/superior, 'k?

Thank you.

Now back to the recipe.

When I made this, I conveniently didn't buy enough fresh mushrooms for both the Chicken Anise and this meal, so I *blush* had to fall back on the canned stuff.  Please don't go yelling etc....  I also forgot to add the bay leaf.  It was still pretty good, anyway.  If you ever have occasion to make this for me and dare to use canned mushrooms or omit the bay leaf, I. Will. Not. Mind. One. Bit.

Braised Beef
Serves 4

1 Tbl. olive oil
2 lbs. chuck stew meat, cut into 2 or so inch cubes
1 medium onion
1 can (14.5 ozs) dice tomatoes, with juices
1/2 cup beef broth
2 cups red wine
1 tsp. chopped garlic (bottled okay)
1 bay leaf (optional because I forgot to add it)
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
couple sprigs Italian parsley
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
cooked rice, enough for your family

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add olive oil, wait 10 seconds, then add beef cubes in a single layer.

Let sear, about 5 minutes or so, then flip the cubes and let sear another 4-5 minutes.  Continue until all sides are nicely browned.  Don't worry about a few pink spots here and there.  It will be corrected later.

Meanwhile, dice up the onion.  I like the dice about  1/2-inch or so, but you can cut 'em larger, if you prefer.

Add onions to the beef.

Followed by the tomatoes ...

broth ...

wine ...

... garlic and black pepper.  Add the bay leaf, if you remember desire.

Bring it all to a simmer.  Then turn down the heat until it's at a bare simmer, just a few small bubbles around the perimeter here and there.  Too hard a boil will toughen the meat.

Cover and continue to simmer a couple hours, or until the meat is tender to your liking.

Add the parsley (mine was still frozen).

Then the mushrooms.  Stir it all around and let cook another 10 minutes or so (this last 10 minutes is only really important if you are using fresh mushrooms).

Remove the meat temporarily.   Then turn up the heat to high and boil the life out of the sauce ... I mean, reduce the sauce by half.

Then add the meat back in and stir around to coat.  You can serve this dish now, but it gets even better if served another day or two.  Remove from heat, let cool a half-hour, then chill, covered in the same pot.  The next day when it's almost dinner time, take the pot out of the fridge and reheat at medium until the meat is hot.  The photo above is what it looks like the next day after reheating.

Divide rice among dinner plates.  Top with 3-5 cubes of beef per plate and sauce.  Add another veggie, if desired.


The Mom Chef said…
Beef bourguignon is one of those recipes (like baby back ribs) that has it's roots in poverty but has been turned into a more snobby (and expensive) dish over the years. Yeah, it's just wine-braised beef, made by French peasants who sold the good cuts and kept the tough meat for themselves.

That being said, wow, your braised beef is gorgeous. I can just about smell the amazing aroma through the computer.
Tim Niland said…
Excellent job! I enjoyed our collaboration (even though you did most of the work!)
dena said…
@Tim, I thought you did more of the work ... the sign of a good collaboration is when each side thinks it got the better deal.

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