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.
Terry’s advice in response to 3 questions
1st question: 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.
2nd question: 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.
3rd question: 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!