We go to a wonderful butcher and we decided that in honor of Bouef Bourgignon we would actually buy beef from the Burgogne region. This is the region in France in the mid-east where Dijon is located, and yes, where the make the mustard! I am not really sure what is so special about this beef, but if I was going to commit to this cooking thing, I was going to do it right! Since I consider myself a wine amateur, Cornel was in charge in picking out the cooking wine. What else - Bourgogne (Burgandy wine).
Let me just preface this by saying, that I was not prepared for the work that this recipe entails. It was not complicated, just very time consuming with many many steps. This is definitely a meal, that requires a great deal of organization, timing and patience. I made the mistake of wanting to make this meal for a Sunday lunch and starting to cook at 10 a.m. Since it took about four and a half hours to prepare and cook we ended up having a very late lunch.
To begin this meal, you brown the beef and you brown thick pieces of bacon (lardons) in the bacon fat with the bacon rind. It sounds disgusting, but the ending flavor is amazing. I never knew bacon fat could be delicious! After the meat and the bacon are browned, you brown the vegetables in the same bacon fat.
You add wine, beef broth, flour and mix the vegetables with the beef all in the same pot!
This delicious concoction then goes into the oven for approximately 3 - 4 hours until the sauce is thick and the meat is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth.
I would like to say that my first French cooking experience was a success, but since we were so hungry it was hard to be objective.
I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who has a few hours to kill in the kitchen and wants to enjoy an authentic French meal. I hope to find the patience to make it again sometime.