Food

Filet de Boeuf Bourguignon

As we prepare to leave the Chateau, I’m busy trying to savour every little bit. I’ve been noticing all the architectural details, the ancient stone walls (3 feet thick!) and we took some time to sit out on the lawn in les transats, enjoy the sun and drink chilled rose.
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Keeping with the theme, I made Filet de Boeuf Bourguignon for dinner – a cleaner presentation than the traditional Boeuf Bourguignon stew, but with the same flavors. Arranged on a platter, you can show off all your hard work – roasting and caramelizing those little onions (and let’s not forget you had to peel each one), sautéing and browning those mushrooms, and making the velvety Bourguignon sauce from a roux. Had I simply dumped the various individually-prepared ingredients into a dutch oven and all was covered in sauce, frankly, I would have felt a bit ‘jipped’.
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Beef tenderloin can be a bit pricey but well worth it. In France I pay 36 euros a kilo and of course it went on sale (half price no less) the very next day (groan). Anyhow, the piece I bought was 28 euros but would have easily served 4 people, so I felt less anxious after doing the math – for about 7 euros per person/serving, we ate what would have easily been a 30-40 euro dish in a restaurant.

Filet de Boeuf Bourguignon
A more aesthetically pleasing way to serve this classic dish – after all, one eats with the eyes as well.

18 small braising onions, peeled, pierce root with a pairing knife
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

3 ounces blanched bacon, cut in 1 inch strips (see below)
1 ½ cups red wine
1 ½ cup beef stock (do not use a cube or it will be too salty)
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon butter
½ pound mushrooms, washed, quartered

2-3 pounds tenderloin of beef (ask butcher to remove the strap/chain)
salt & peeper

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons broadleaf parsley, chopped

Toss the peeled onions with salt and olive oil, spread on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in a 400ºF/200ºc oven for at least 30 minutes. The onions should be cooked and just starting to brown before searing the beef.

Meanwhile, add blanched bacon to large frying pan and sauté until lightly browned. Pour off any fat and add the wine, stock, garlic and tomato paste. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, then remove from heat.

In another frying pan melt butter over medium heat, wait until foam has subsided, then add mushrooms and sauté until soft and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut tenderloin into medallions 1-inch thick, dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, then sear in a frying pan over high heat (about 45 seconds per side) and immediately add to roasting dish with onions. Bake in oven until internal temperature of beef reaches 260ºF/125ºc (medium rare). This is going to take less than 10 minutes so it’s time to finish off the sauce, reheat the mushrooms over low heat, and start thinking about your serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash together the flour and butter into a paste (called ‘beurre manie’ and used to thicken sauces). Whisk the paste into the wine sauce, then return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Taste and check the seasoning and keep warmed over very low heat.

Once the meat is done, remove it from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 8 minutes.

Just before serving, whisk 2 tablespoons of softened butter into wine sauce. Then arrange beef on a serving platter and pour sauce and vegetables around it garnish with parsley and serve.

Blanching Bacon
To blanch bacon add it to a small pot of simmering water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then strain. Rinse in cold water and dry. This step is necessary to remove the bacon’s smoky flavor, so don’t skip it or the dish will taste very different.

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One thought on “Filet de Boeuf Bourguignon

  1. Ah, yes Paris! I really want to go back. Saw a picture of St. Michelle on the news just the other day. Something about the Tour de France ( it was raining 🙂 ). We really saw a lot when we were there – definitely freeway flyers. Joanne and I leave next week for our drive up to Victoria/Vancouver. How many years ago were we there with your Mom? We get on the boat (Cathie Jardine and her daughter are meeting us on the boat) on Saturday in Vancouver, then off on Aug 4th in Anchorage. Then we fly back to Vancouver and pick up the car. We are thinking of driving east towards Banff and Whistler. Where are you now? Still heading west? If you are close enough, we’d love to meet up with you. Our only constraint is Joanne wants to be back by the 11th of August. Weather here has been amazing. I’m hoping you guys will come down through Bend on your way back. Love to show you around! The jet ski looked fun . we could go river rafting while you’re here!! How are your parent’s adjusting to their new digs? Sarah and Corin are in the middle of remodeling their money pit. Oh my so glad it’s not me!!! The good news is that the place will be wonderful when they are done. Glad to hear you found your picture. Mine is the centerpiece in my living room – right over the fireplace. Love it and think of you every time I see it! Hugs to you and Brian XXOO

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