Gourmet, great lover of red meat and cook because of his love of good food, Terry Pomerantz never hesitates to prepare a beef bourguignon.
However, this classic of French gastronomy has its requirements, in particular the quality of the meat.
So, what kind of meat should you use for a beef bourguignon? Terry Pomerantz tells you all about it.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
“Bœuf bourguignon” originates from the Burgundy region of France. It features two products from this area, beef and red wine. Indeed, Burgundy is famous for its cattle breeding, including Charolais beef, and for its red wines such as the Chambertin and Nuits-Villages.
Traditional beef bourguignon consists of cubes of beef slowly simmered in a red wine-based sauce. Terry doesn’t recommend using a great wine for cooking. “Good wine was made to be savoured, not to have its subtle aromas disappear into the mix of ingredient flavours, no matter how tasty. So no matter which sauce I need to make, I use an everyday wine.”
For the beef bourguignon sauce, onions, garlic, mushrooms, bacon as well as a bouquet of aromatic herbs like thyme, parsley and bay leaves are added to the red wine. The sauce is bound with flour to give it consistency. Sometimes, Terry adds beef broth, tomato paste and chopped carrots.
What type of meat to use for a beef bourguignon?
If you ask your butcher what is the best cut of beef to cook your bourguignon, he will probably suggest top round, ribeye or sirloin.
It’s important to choose quality meat. Beef from a factory farm is confined to its stall and fed with fodder and sometimes genetically modified grains. Most of the time, factory-farmed beef is treated with antibiotics and hormones so that it reaches maximum weight in a minimum amount of time.
In contrast, free-range farming produces grass-fed beef that is GMO-free and free of herbicide residues. These animals are less stressed, and their meat is leaner while containing more omega 3 and linoleic acid, fats which are beneficial to your health. You won’t find any traces of growth hormones or antibiotics in this beef, which is tastier and more tender than industrial beef.
Which cuts of beef are best for Beef Bourguignon?
To prepare a Beef Bourguignon, you need a cut of beef that is great for slow cooking. The cuts that contain a lot of collagen are found in the muscles that were exercised most.
Terry Pomerantz uses marbled beef cuts with intramuscular fat from the blade, the shoulder, the neck or the top sirloin. Take note that the top sirloin is a leaner part of the beef meat.
Which wine to choose when cooking a Beef Bourguignon?
If you are wondering which wine to choose for your Beef Bourguignon, Terry Pomerantz suggest using “the leftover red wines you might have in the fridge, as long as it is still good. Ideally, a left over pinot noir or merlot would be perfect.”
Which side dishes to serve with your Beef Bourguignon?
Terry Pomerantz suggests serving mashed potatoes, a French Gratin Dauphinois, egg tagliatelle or Polenta with your Beef Bourguignon.
As for the vegetable portion of the meal, Terry likes serving cauliflower sautéed in butter, green string beans or asparagus wrapped in bacon.
A recipe for a really tender Beef Bourguignon
- 2 lbs (1 kg) beef blade
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 chopped onion
- ¼ cup of semi-salted butter
- 125 g of bacon
- ½ can of tomato paste
- 4 tbsp of flour
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 12 baby onions
- 375 g of mushroom
- Cut the beef into cubes.
- Mince garlic and onions.
- Mix together a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of flour.
- In a cooking pot, brown the beef cubes in ¼ cup of butter. Set aside.
- In the same cooking pot, pour in the oil, add the bacon, the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze with red wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the mixture of butter and flour, and the tomato paste.
- Add the browned meat.
- Add beef broth.
- Add thyme and bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in the oven for 3 hours at 300 o F
- Half an hour before the end of cooking time, add the mushrooms and the onions and leave for another thirty minutes or so.
Terry Pomerantz’ trick for a really tender Beef Bourguignon? “Let it cook slowly over a long period of time while ensuring that the beef cubes are always covered with liquid. If needed, you should add beef broth… or wine!”
Terry’s advice in response to 3 questions
How to prevent my beef bourguignon’s meat from being tough?
Terry: To avoid toughness in your beef bourguignon, cook your preparation on low heat, slowly and for a long time, at least 3 hours. Make sure there is enough liquid. If necessary, add wine or beef broth during cooking.
How do you reheat beef bourguignon to keep it tender?
Terry: To keep your beef bourguignon tender, reheat it gently, covered in its own juices. If necessary, add a little red wine or beef broth to your sauce. In general, your beef will gain in flavour and tenderness when reheated gently.
What wine should I serve with my beef bourguignon?
Terry: I always suggest drinking a wine from the same country as the main course of your meal. A Florentine style Scaloppine would be served with an Italian wine, possibly from Tuscany, while a Spanish wine would accompany a paella. For a classic French dish like bœuf bourguignon, choose a classic French wine, full-bodied with more tannins, like a Saint-Émilion, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Saint-Estèphe!
With such a wine, your beef bourguignon will be a royal luxury for your palate!Bon appétit!
Terry Pomerantz, passionate about good food, shares with you his gastronomic favorites, tips and recipes, turning every meal into a memorable experience. Explore his culinary universe and discover the delights he suggests to tantalize your taste buds.