Sunday, November 16, 2014

Recipe #30: Beef in Red Wine Sauce with Wild Mushrooms

Yes, you could loosely call this a beef bourgignon, but there are a few steps taken out...there is no garlic, no bouqet garni (a bunch of herbs tied together), no marinating the beef overnight.  If ever you wanted to make a beef bourgignon, but were too afraid because of the work, this is not as daunting, and I have lots of pictures to guide you along.  This is an excellent recipe and I eat it on its own...no egg noodles, no rice, just in a bowl with a spoon.   I decided to try the mix of mushrooms...perhaps they don't make too much of a difference, but as a friend of mine would say, "sounds good, briefs well!".    My grocery store had some tri tip steaks on sale yesterday...probably the best beef I have ever used for this recipe.  You don't want to go super lean, because even though the meat will be tender, it will not taste nearly as luxurious as a good piece of beef with a little marbling running through it.  Well, here we go...

2 1/2 lbs sirloin, chuck or trip tip, cut into                  4 pieces of bacon, chopped, or cut into pieces
     1 1/2" cubes                                                                        with a kitchen shears
1 large onion, chopped                                                     1/2 lb assorted mushrooms, white, cremini
1 carrot, diced                                                                          shiitake, portobello, cleaned and sliced*
3 tbsp flour                                                                         4 tbsp butter
bacon fat                                                                              1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups burgundy or chianti                                       1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper                                                                  2 tbsp tomato paste

First off, you want to have your meat out of the fridg at least 2-3 hours so it can get to room temperature.   If your beef is cold, when it hits the hot fat, the whole thing goes down the drain because you're instantly cooling the fat in the pan.  I also use two of my largest skillets for browning the beef.  You never want to overcrowd your pan, and I usually don't have enough patience to brown the beef in batches.   My largest skillet is 12" with virtually no slope at the bottom, so there is great usable space.  My other pan is 10".   Accordingly, I would put 2 tbsp bacon fat in the larger pan and 1 tbsp bacon fat in the smaller pan when it comes to browning the beef.   If you don't have 2 pans, or both of your pans are small, adjust accordingly.   So, pretending we have my pans, use the larger one for now and brown the bacon.  Remove to a small bowl.  Using the fat in the pan, add 2 tbsp butter and saute the onions and mushrooms for about 10 minutes on medium heat, (see below).  Put in a medium bowl.    Put another 2 tbsp bacon fat and 1 tbsp butter in the larger pan, and 1 of each in the smaller pan.  With heat on med/high, brown the beef on most of the sides, (see below).   When all beef is browned, empty the beef from the smaller pan into the larger one and add the carrots, but just leave the smaller pan..don't wash.   Stir the carrots with the beef for just another few minutes, (see below).  Add the flour and stir until you see no white at all, (see both below).  Turn off heat and transfer the beef/carrot mixture to a dutch oven.  Add the onion/mushroom mixture.  Take your beef broth and pour into both pans.   Scrape up any of the brown bits, called fond, because this adds great flavor to the recipe.  I use the back of a pancake turner.  Dump soup from both pans into dutch oven, then add wine, salt, pepper, thyme and tomato paste, (see below).  Cover dutch oven tightly and simmer over low heat (or in a 300 oven) for 2 1/2-3 hours.  At that time, I usually add another 1/4 cup wine and stir.   Simmer with the lid off for another hour or so.  Bon appetit!

*The mushrooms are as follows clockwise starting at upper left-hand corner..white, cremini, portobello, shiitake.  Also, remove most of the gills (the underside) of the Portobello and notice no stems on any mushrooms.

 
 
 




 
get the beef nice and brown...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
make sure to stir until all the flour is incorporated...you can still see a little here...
 
 
this is just before I add the tomato paste...
 
 
you can see how much this has reduced after 3 hours...
 
 
yum...
 
 
                yum, yum...


yum, yum, yum!!!















 

































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