Note: This recipe is an homage to “Bob’s Short Ribs Bourguignon”, by one of my favorite chefs from the Outer Banks.
A few years ago, I was privileged to spend some time with a chef during a group cooking class. He cooked in a way that was very similar to my own, using his hands/eyes as a way of measuring ingredients and his intuition as a way of creating a dish that was both delicious and flavorful. Having a trained chef share his take on a traditional, classic recipe was a gift beyond compare and I’ll always be grateful to him for opening my own eyes to cooking this way. This recipe used some basics from Bob’s recipe and added my own twist, allowing me to use my own intuition (The Force) to create a new dish.
I was at a wine/food festival recently and was asked if I had a Beef Bourguignon recipe on my blog. Since I hadn’t “formally” cooked and blogged about this recipe, I decided to remedy that problem as quickly as possible.
I started with a package of beef that I found on sale at my local grocery store. NOTE: I try and pick up packages of meat anytime they go on sale, that I can use in various recipes, and keep them in my freezer until needed. This helps keep my costs down and I can “shop” in my freezer for dinner inspirations most any day. I sliced the beef into 1-2″ chunks and, using my favorite large stock pot, browned them in a bit of olive oil after dusting them with some flour, salt, and pepper. Since I had so much beef, I did this step in two stages, removing the first half of the beef once it was browned and repeating the process.
Once all the beef was crispy, I placed it all back into the pot and added the following ingredients: 1 sliced onion, 4 diced bacon slices, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 beef bouillon packet (I like G. Washington Brown), a few globs of ketchup, and covered everything with a lovely red wine (think James River Cellars Monitor). I stirred everything to combine it nicely, popped the lid on the pot, and put the entire dish into a 300 degree oven to cook for awhile. I think it cooked for about 2 hours, but I was really waiting for the entire recipe to reduce and mesh together well. You could easily reduce the heat on the stove top, pop the lid on, and cook it for the two hours, but I prefer to use the oven when I can for this sort of meal.
Once the wine had reduced and the sauce was thick and rich, I added half a bag of frozen peas to bump up the color factor on the meal. The final touches involved adding a few dashes of worchestershire sauce and a small bit of butter to gloss the sauce. It looked delicious!
As we got closer to dinner time, I cooked some egg noodles and sliced some crusty bread to complete the meal. The final product was deep, dark, and rich… a perfect meal for a cold, snowy evening, even if it *was* March.
I hope you’ll try making your own version of this wonderful recipe. Using short ribs (when on sale) is a great alternative to a piece of pot roast, but you can use most any meat that will handle this sort of long, slow cooking process. Changing up the vegetables by using carrots, pearl onions, or any other favorite vegetable is a great way to add nutrition and tailor the recipe to your family’s preferences.
Remember, cooking is about sharing your love with the ones you love. Enjoy!