Bœuf à la bourguignonne!

19 11 2010

Last night, we made bœuf à la bourguignonne, a very popular French dish. Bœuf à la bourguignonnet is a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine, beef broth, flavored with bacon, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and carrots. There is more than one way to prepare this classic dish.

We prepared this dish in accordance with the recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which can be found on page 315 for those who have the book in their possession; although we did take the liberty to make a few changes here and there, mostly due to lack of certain materials and items. For instance, we do not possess a fireproof casserole dish, so we had to make the bœuf à la bourguignonne without it.

Bœuf à la bourguignonne

Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. chunk of bacon
  • 3 lbs. lean stewing beef
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups of red wine
  • 2-3 cups of brown beef stock
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut into lardons, or sticks, about 1/4 in. thick and 1.5 in. long. Simmer the rind and bacon for 10 minutes in water. Drain and dry.
  2. Saute the bacon in a pan (casserole dish really, but like I mentioned above, I don’t have one) with olive oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to the side. Keep the pan (or casserole dish) for the beef. When it’s time to saute the heat, reheat the pan (casserole dish).
  3. Wash and pat dry the beef. Cut into 2 in. cubes. Dry the beef in paper towels (it will not brown if it is damp!). Saute the beef, a few pieces at a time, in the oil and bacon fat until the beef is nicely browned on all sides. Remove the beef when done.
  4. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Remove and pour out the sauteing fat.
  5. In a big pot (casserole dish), add in the bacon, beef, and vegetables. Also add in some salt and pepper. Keep on medium-to-high heat.
  6. Add in some wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered.
  7. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and thyme. Continue to keep it on medium heat for 2.5-3 hours.
  8. The meat is done when a fork pierces through it easily.

Bœuf à la bourguignonne

One of the best things about bœuf à la bourguignonne is that you can prepare it even a day in advance and the dish gains in  flavor when reheated.

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Lemon Chicken

18 11 2010

 

Lemon chicken is a classic American dish. It’s pretty simple to make.

Ingredients:

For the marinade –

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (we used 1.5 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the chicken –

  • 3-4 lbs chicken parts (preferably thighs and legs)
  • 2-3 tbsp melted butter

Preparation:

  1. Wash and pat dry chicken parts. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch so the marinade can penetrate into the chicken.
  2. In a big ziploc bag, squeeze out the juice from the lemons.
  3. Add thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper into the bag. Make sure the bag is closed and shake well.
  4. Place chicken parts into the bag. Ensure the bag is closed and shake well, mixing the marinade with the chicken pieces. Place bag in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Remove chicken from the bag and place on a single layer on a large baking dish, skin-side up. Keep the marinade aside for later.
  7. In a small pan, heat your butter until it’s melted. Brush a little melted butter on to each chicken piece.
  8. Bake chicken for 50-55 minutes; at ~25 minutes, baste the chicken pieces with the remaining marinade. Continue baking until the skins are crispy brown and the chicken is cooked through.
  9. Pour juices from the pan into a bowl. Be sure not to wash the juices down the drain!

Lemon Chicken

Our lemon chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with just the right amount of lemon flavor. Delicious!