Chef 101: Beef Bourguignonne Braising Sauce
It happened like this: I wanted to make a crock pot of meaty Bolognese sauce for spaghetti, I didn’t like the recipe I was using, and Eddie said, “Instead of getting another recipe just go to Williams-Sonoma for one of those ‘starter kits.’” And I thought, sure, make my life easier. So, I get over to the store, I select “Bourguignonne” thinking it read “Bolognese”, get home, write out my grocery list and start to wonder…when did pearl onions and bacon go into Bolognese? My edits are below, as usual in italics.
Williams-Sonoma Beef Bourguignonne
(As copied from the back label of the jar)
3 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (I buy whatever beef for stew is already pre-cut by the butcher.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 lb bacon slices, cut into 1/4 inch dice (I bought 4 boxes of pre-cooked bacon, then cut with kitchen scissors.)
1 jar Williams-Sonoma Beef Bourguignonne Braising Base
2 cups pearl onions (fresh or *thawed frozen)
1/2 lb peeled baby carrots (Comes already peeled in handy package)
Buttered noodles or mashed potatoes for serving
In large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm oil.
Add bacon, cook 5-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tbs. fat from pan. Add beef; brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add braising base and bacon. Cover and cook on high 4 hours according to manufacturers instructions. Add pearl onions; cover and cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 hour more. (I added the carrots and onions for the last two hours, and though still on high and meat was shredding, the carrots were not a soft as they could have been. I might add them in sooner next time.)
Note: The starter kits aren’t cheap, this one was $16.95. But when I made this on my own I used a 1/2 a bottle of wine, mushrooms, beef stock and French herbs (some of the ingredients listed on the jar) and it cost more than $16.95. Suffice it to say, the jar had WAY more flavor than mine did. But, then again, the first time I made this I also quickly boiled and then peeled all those *pesky onions and vowed to never make it again.
The only problem that I can see…is that I have to go back to Williams-Sonoma again to see if they actually do have a Bolognese starter kit…