Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Comfort Food

One of the winter comfort foods that I always forget about is Beef Bourgignon.  I first had it on a field trip in a high school french class, and I fell in love.  I had a shoulder clod roast in the freezer that I didn't know what to do with, so I ended up making a favorite from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.

I started by cutting the roast into 2 inch chunks the night before I made this.  I marinated the beef in two cups of red wine and threw it in the refrigerator:

In the afternoon the next day, I pulled out all the beef with a slotted spoon and drained it on paper towels.  The drier the beef, the better.

After the beef is dried, I browned it in equal parts butter and olive oil in small batches.  Put the meat on an unlined plate.  You'll want the meat juices later.

Pour the juice/butter/oil mixture into a small bowl and set aside.  In the pot, melt butter and pour in 1/2 a cup of flour.  I used whole wheat without problems.  Cook and stir constantly for a few minutes.  Then, add the wine from the marinade and four cups of beef broth.  Whisk it all together until it boils and thickens.

After the sauce thickens, pour in the beef with all those good juices.  Stir well, add a bundle of thyme tied with kitchen twine, pepper, and a few slivers of orange peel.  Put it in a 300 degree oven for 3-5 hours or until the meat is tender.

About 20 minutes before the beef comes out of the oven, clean a pound of mushrooms and cut them into bite sized pieces.  Also, chop an onion into manageable pieces.  I used the reserved juice/butter/oil mixture from earlier to brown the mushrooms, and plain butter to cook the onions.

When the meat comes out of the onion, remove the thyme and add in the mushrooms and onions.  Stir them in well.

We tend to serve this over noodles, but it is perfectly tasty on its own.

Beef bourgignon also goes really well with homemade bread. 

In fact, when I emptied the pot into freezer containers, *B* took a piece of bread and wiped out the pot before washing it.  Why let good food go to waste?
Beef Bourgignon
3 pounds stew beef
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 cup flour
orange peel
fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh mushrooms
2 pounds boiling onions or one large onion
salt (to taste)

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