This is the dish for ballers, shot callers, everyone with 20-inch rims, holla.
In the dead of winter, as the temperature drops and the melee of tourists secede to their corners for another grueling season of snow and bitter winds, the gut begins to yearn for a hearty stew to alleviate those pesky pangs of thug life regret. While recipes abound that fit this bill, one classic screams out louder than any snitch staring down 20-life: Beef Bourguignon.
Less than a 100 steps from the grubby kitchen that spawned this train wreck of a blog sits Savenor’s Market. Here the Queen of the American Foodie Revolution, Julia Child, famously shopped for her groundbreaking cooking show. In fact, she loved this tiny little joint so much that she saw fit to scrawl “Bon Appetit – JC” in the pavement outside the front door. Of the countless French recipes that Julia whipped up just a few blocks from Streaming Cheese, Beef Bourguignon is perhaps her most famous. If Julia is the OG of the American foodie craze, her recipe for Beef Bourguignon is her Crip’s Walk.
For those ballers who want to throw a gangster gathering that both TuPac and Julia would be proud to attend, pull the Henney (or whatever it is you kids are drinking nowadays) off the shelf, take a shot for good measure, and get ready to flambe. While we used brisket, any cheap meat will do. Chuck, top round, or stew meat from the butcher, has the same effect; the cut is only important when it comes to your timing.
If you enjoy making a meal into an all day event, bust out the dutch oven or crockpot, either will work. The dark winter months are at time to summon forth the classic repertoire of recipes, Julia did it first for the natives of Boston, and her spirit for French technique is one to be reckoned with. So if you’re feeling it, call the crew, turn up some beats (or beets), and tip the Henney to those friends who aren’t there to enjoy the feast.
Chef’s Note: The ingredients for this dish are as simple and the most important thing for you, as the cook, is to relish in the slow cooking, the textures of the meat and vegetables, and that beautiful smell that will permeate from your spot after just an hour or so. The wine and cognac are key here as well. Rule of thumb is this – make sure to buy a wine that once you cook with it, you’ll want to enjoy a glass with the finished dish.
- 3 lbs. beef brisket, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 bottle of good red wine
- 4 shots (6 ounces) of Hennessey
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 bunch thyme
- canola or vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 stalks celery, large dice
- 1/2 white onion, large dice
- 48 ounces chicken stock
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- salted butter
- 10 pearl onions
- 5 carrots, cubed
- 1/4 lb. pancetta, diced
- 8 button mushrooms
1. On a cutting board, lay down the beef and locate the “grain” going through the meat, just like in a piece of wood. Slice the beef lengthwise with the grain, going the long way. Now cut the beef against the grain into cubes.
2. Place the beef in a large bowl. Add red wine, 2 shots of Henney, shallot, and a couple of thyme sprigs. Let the beef sit in the marinade for at least 3 hours.
3. Strain the juice and set aside for later. Lay the marinated meat on paper towel to dry.
3. Assemble a bouquet garni.
4. Bring the beef to a boil and skim the foam from the top. Throw in the bouquet garni and lower the heat. Partially cover the pot to allow some steam to vent.
5. Cook for approximately 2 hours or until the meat is soft.
Prepare for Landing:
1. Peel the pearl onions. Add a little butter and oil to a medium pot and saute the onions and carrots over low heat. Continue to cook the vegetables until soft and browned. Set aside in a separate bowl to later add to the stew.
2. In the same pan over very low heat, brown the pancetta for about 10 minutes.
3. When the pancetta is crispy, add the mushrooms and cook until soft and browned. While the pan is still hot, add the 2 remaining shots of Henney and burn off the alcohol. (This is the flambe! Be sure to stand back!)
4. Stir the vegetables and mushrooms into the stew.
Serve with Mouthful’a Mashed Potatoes.