I think most of us know what Boeuf Bourguignon is by now…especially if you’ve watched Julie&Julia. Julie Powell could not stop raving about her childhood memories of her mother cooking Boeuf Bourguignon when guests came around, but it wasn’t any Boeuf Bourguignon, it was Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon. Every time she said “Boeuf Bourguignon” my stomach grumbled and I was anxiously waiting for winter to come so I could finally try it out.
The only problem is that I really don’t like Beef..sorry I meant Boeuf. That’s why it’s taken me so long to try it. I’ve been trying to research all different cuts of meat to see which will have the most flavour and be the most tender after cooking of up to 4 hours and one of the Chefs on the ‘Food Network’ said that the tastiest version of “Boeuf Bourguignon” was made with Short Ribs. But that was the other dilemma. I’ve never actually seen Beef Short Ribs in SA. I Mean, of course I could go to my amazing Butcher and ask him to cut me some but I was just very lazy. And so, you’ll understand the utter joy I experienced when I browsed through the meat section at Woolies and saw the most beautiful little Short Ribs. I was in heaven.
I also researched about 50+ “Boeuf Bourguignon” recipes and saw that there were as many varieties. Some add carrots and celery, others don’t. Some serve it with a pastry layer as a pie, others serve it was Mashed potatoes or Potato Dauphinoise. So I felt very comfortable playing around with flavours and the result was a rich, dark, comforting stew filled with soft & sweet vegetables and beautifully tender meat. The Short ribs go slightly stringy but the flavour was amazing and I think another hour of cooking would have sorted the stringy-ness out. It really is a dish worth trying and although it needs very long cooking, the actual prep for it takes no longer than 30 minutes so it’s PERFECT for a Sunday Lunch.
2kg Beef Short Ribs
2 Large onions, rougly chopped (traditionally baby onions are used)
4 Carrots, Sliced
4 Celery spears, sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
4 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Oregano
1 small tin Tomato Paste (65g)
750ml Good red wine (I used a Merlot)
500ml Strong Beef Stock
1tbsn Red Wine Vinegar
500g Mushrooms, Halved (I used Portabellini)
Salt and pepper to taste
Steamed Rice, Mashed/ Boiled Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 120°C.
- In a large, hot pot, fry the short ribs one each side until well-browned. Set aside.
- Fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft and slightly golden. Add the Bay Leaves, thyme, oregano and tomato paste. Add the meat back to the pot and stir around.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat. Add the wine, beef stock, sugar and red wine vinegar.
- Allow to come to the boil and stir to combine everything. Place a lid on the pot and place in the oven for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, add the Mushrooms and place back in the oven for another hour.
Check the seasoning and serve with potatoes/rice and a dollop of sour cream.