BOEUF BOURGUIGON WITH RED ZINFANDEL
Of course you can use the traditional French Burgundy in this beef stew recipe but to save some money and stick with the “you should cook with what you drink” adage, I’ve used Zinfandel and even found Gnarly Head on sale for $7.00/bottle.
3-4 lbs. boneless beef stew, trimmed of most fat and hard bits, cut into 1”, bite size cubes
2 cups sliced onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 750 ml bottle red Zinfandel or other hardy red wine
1 or 2 cups of good beef stock if necessary
4 large unpeeled cloves garlic, smashed
1 28 oz. can crushed, Italian plum tomatoes, not mixed with any flavors
2 large Bay leafs
1 tsp. Thyme
1 cup of flour
1 Tlbs. butter
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Large sheet pan
Heavy bottomed, high sided, Dutch oven style pan that will hold all ingredients
Large frying pan
Here’s What To Do:
Cover the sheet pan with paper towel. Use a fillet knife and trim the beef chunks of most all fat and white bits. Cut into bit size pieces about 1 inch each for uniform cooking and easy eating. You need dry meat to brown so as you cut the meat into smaller pieces, place on to the paper towel on the sheet pan. Using a other piece of paper towel, pat the meat dry.
Place the cup of flour; you may need more, into the bowl. Put a good two count of olive oil into the frying pan over moderate high heat. Take a handful of the meat at a time and toss in the flour to coat then shake off the excess and place in the hot oil, fill the pan but don’t crowd, you will probably need to do more than one batch. Brown the meat on all sides – three to five minutes, transfer to the pot as they finish.
Add the butter to the same frying pan and sauté until nicely browned but not burnt and place with beef. Deglaze the frying pan with a good splash of wine and add to beef. Add the Garlic and the rest of the bottle of wine; fold in tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme and salt to taste. Beef should just be covered. Use more wine, always buy two bottles or beef stock if necessary to cover.
Bring the mixture to a strong simmer then reduce to a low simmer, not a boil and cook uncovered, turning and basting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. Sauce should have reduced and thickened. If using mushrooms add them at this point and cook with the meat for another ten minutes.
Sautéed’ mushrooms add to the flavor of this country dish put aren’t required, sure taste good though
1 ½ Lbs. white mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
3 Tbs. Butter
3 Tsp olive oil
2 Tbs. chopped shallot (one large)
Salt and pepper
Sauté the mushrooms in butter and oil over medium-high heat. After they absorb the butter toss in the shallot and cook moving the mushrooms around until they acquire a deep brown color but do not burn, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside until meat is done.
I really enjoy eating the stew from a large soup bowl with a scoop of garlic mashed potatoes (egg noodles are good too) to the right side so you scoop a piece of meat into the potatoes as you pick it up, or it could just be me. Bon Appetite!
What Goes With What Wines Selections
Gnarly Head Zinfandel ’06, Lodi (Zinfandel)
If you’ve tasted enough Zinfandel you’ll know immediately this wine is from Lodi, an area that is transitioning from a sort of blue collar, jug wine region to a more refined style of wine making. It has robust berry flavors and spice notes and was aged in French, American and Hungarian oak. $9.00