Lunchbreak: Chef John Abels makes boeuf bourgignon

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Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

To Master the Art
Through October 20
Broadway Playhouse
Water Tower Place
175 E. Chestnut

Boeuf Bourgignon
(adapted from Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1)

6 oz  chunk slab bacon
3 lb.  lean stewing beef, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 sliced carrot, paysanne cut
1 onion, small dice
to taste, salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 bottle full bodied red wine, such as Beaujolais, Burgundy, or Cotes du Rhone
4 cups veal stock
1 Tbs  tomato paste
3 cloves minced garlic
4 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaf

For Garnish:
2 dozen pearl onions, braised in brown stock
1 lb fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered and sautéed
2 Tbs fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 425F. In large casserole or cocotte, sauté slab bacon over medium heat to lightly brown and render some fat.  Remove from pan and reserve for future use.  Add sliced carrots and diced onion to casserole. Cook until carrots and onions brown slightly.  Add tomato paste just to coat vegetables. Meanwhile, season all beef cubes with salt and cracked black pepper.  Place on a lightly coated with pan spray baking rack on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, approximately 1 inch apart.  Sear in oven at 425° approximately 25 minutes, or until all cubes are nicely browned on all sides.  Remove trays from oven and lower temperature to 325. Add beef and pan drippings to casserole dish, slab bacon, and cover contents with wine and veal stock; on the stovetop, bring to a simmer.  Cover casserole and place entire dish in oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until beef is fork tender. Check sauce for consistency; if need be, strain liquid into a separate sauce pot and reduce to desired sauce like consistency—should coat the back of a spoon.  Adjust seasoning if need be. Add all ingredients back to casserole dish, including pearl onion and sautéed mushroom garnish.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve en casserole, or on a large platter with boiled potatoes, noodles, or rice.
Serves 4 to 6


If you have a double oven, preheat one to 425, and the other to 325 to save time

Lightly spray your baking rack (also called a cookie or cake cooling rack) so the meat cubes do not stick

Before you load your peppercorns into your pepper mill, toast them in a dry sauté pan to make them fragrant and to draw their natural oils to the surface—provides greater, fresher cracked pepper flavor

Use a wine you would drink. The flavor will be so much better than cooking with a wine you have never tried

Use some of the rendered bacon fat to sauté your mushrooms and onions in

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