Originating among France’s Burgundy peasantry, this dish was elevated to the status of haute cuisine by none other than the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings (as the French press and Kaiser Wilhelm II referred to him) – Auguste Escoffier. Julia Child in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, refers to Boeuf Bourguignon as ”certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”
While looking for a kosher version that might do justice to Ms. Child’s praises, I came across this scrumptious recipe in Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s latest book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, page 164:
Spend a wonderful evening with a few French classics and some wine to go with dinner! By the way, my bourguignon has been included in Joan Schwartz’s charming book, deceptively innocent, called Meat and Potatoes. My secret ingredient is crème de cassis, the wonderful black currant liqueur.
This dish reheats very well and improves with age, so go ahead and make it a day or two ahead.
- 4 pounds beef or bison shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes for stew
- 6 cups water
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups dry wine
- 1/4 cup crème de cassis
- 2 large tomatoes, diced small
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only(or throw in the sprigs in whole, but don’t forget to discard them at the end of cooking)
- 2 pounds very thin long carrots, peeled (about 20)
- 20 very small organic potatoes, scrubbed (only organic potatoes are safe with skins on)
- 2 dozen tiny onions, peeled and left whole (frozen OK: they are already peeled)On a stove top: Place beef, water, and oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the garlic, wine, creme de cassis, tomatoes, pepper, and bay leaves and cook for 30 more minutes. Add thyme, carrots, potatoes, and onions and cook for 30 minutes. The meat should be fork tender, Transfer meat and all vegetables on platter with a slotted spoon. If the liquid left in the pot is too thin, reduce it on a high flame until it is thickened, the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the reduced liquid over the whole dish and serve hot. Will make 8 to 10 servings.With a Crock-Pot: Layer all the ingredients except the water (no water) in a 6-quart Crock-Pot, in the order they were given. Set the Crock-Pot on low in the morning. It will be ready for dinner (10 to 12 hours total cooking time).Variation: Try the dish using dark stout beer instead of wine, as my daughter in law Ruthie does.