Modern Beef Burgundy

From America's Test Kitchen Season 14: Meat and Potatoes with Panache

Why this recipe works:

We wanted our boeuf bourguignon recipe to have tender braised beef napped in a silky, rich sauce with bold red wine flavor but without all the work that the classic recipe requires. We cook the stew in the oven, uncovered in a roasting pan, so that the exposed surfaces of the meat brown as it… read more

We wanted our boeuf bourguignon recipe to have tender braised beef napped in a silky, rich sauce with bold red wine flavor but without all the work that the classic recipe requires. We cook the stew in the oven, uncovered in a roasting pan, so that the exposed surfaces of the meat brown as it braises, allowing us to eliminate the time-consuming step of searing it beforehand. Similarly, we used the oven, rather than the stovetop, to render the salt pork and to prepare the traditional mushroom and pearl onion garnish.

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Modern Beef Burgundy

Most recipes for this French classic require you to stand at the stove tediously batch-­searing beef and sautéing vegetables. But what if the whole operation could move to the oven?

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Serves 6 to 8

If the pearl onions have a papery outer coating, remove it by rinsing them in warm water and gently squeezing individual onions between your fingertips. Two minced anchovy fillets can be used in place of the anchovy paste. To save time, salt the meat and let it stand while you prep the remaining ingredients. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces, scraps reserved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces salt pork, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed, halved if medium or quartered if large
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle red Burgundy or Pinot Noir
  • 5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 onions, chopped coarse
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 garlic head, cloves separated, unpeeled, and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley, plus 3 tablespoons minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. 1. Toss beef and 1½ teaspoons salt together in bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    2. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 500 degrees. Place salt pork, beef scraps, and 2 tablespoons butter in large roasting pan. Roast on lower-middle rack until well browned and fat has rendered, 15 to 20 minutes.

    3. While salt pork and beef scraps roast, toss cremini mushrooms, pearl onions, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and sugar together on rimmed baking sheet. Roast on lowest rack, stirring occasionally, until moisture released by mushrooms evaporates and vegetables are lightly glazed, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

    4. Remove roasting pan from oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Sprinkle flour over rendered fat and whisk until no dry flour remains. Whisk in broth, 2 cups wine, gelatin, tomato paste, and anchovy paste until combined. Add onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, porcini mushrooms, parsley sprigs, and thyme to pan. Arrange beef in single layer on top of vegetables. Add water as needed to come three-quarters up side of beef (beef should not be submerged). Return roasting pan to oven and cook until meat is tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring after 90 minutes and adding water to keep meat at least half-submerged.

    5. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to bowl with cremini mushrooms and pearl onions; cover and set aside. Strain braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Stir in remaining wine and let cooking liquid settle, 10 minutes. Using wide shallow spoon, skim fat off surface and discard.

    6. Transfer liquid to Dutch oven and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened to consistency of heavy cream, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in beef and mushroom-onion garnish, cover, and cook until just heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in minced parsley and serve. (Stew can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

Technique

Mostly Walk-Away Beef Burgundy

Doing most of the cooking in the oven in a roasting pan and on a baking sheet makes our Modern Beef Burgundy more user-friendly than classic recipes.

1. BUILD FLAVOR IN OVEN: Roast salt pork and beef trimmings in roasting pan until deeply browned. At same time, roast mushroom and onion garnish on baking sheet until lightly glazed; set aside.

2. ADD EVERYTHING BUT BEEF: Sprinkle flour over rendered fat, whisking until combined. Add broth, 2 cups wine, gelatin (to boost body in sauce), tomato and anchovy pastes, and aromatics.

3. SKIP SEAR; PROP UP BEEF: Instead of batch-searing beef, place salted pieces on top of roasted meat scraps and aromatics. They will poke above liquid and brown.

4. BRAISE: Return roasting pan to oven and cook 3 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring once halfway through cooking. Keep meat at least halfway submerged by adding water.

5. STRAIN; FINISH SAUCE: Transfer beef to bowl with vegetable garnish, strain liquid, and add remaining wine to brighten flavor. Pour liquid into Dutch oven and simmer on stove.

6. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Add beef and vegetable garnish to Dutch oven and briefly heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish with chopped parsley.

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