Random Meats, Part 2: Beef “Bourguignon”

Posted by Phil on May 7th, 2010 | Cooking

This series, fully titled “Buying Random Meats, and Putting them into Pots”, was inspired by the realization that great meals can be cooked by simply browning any meat in a pot, adding some vegetables and juice, and waiting several hours.  This has excellent applicability in expedition, camping, hunting and fishing cooking, where simplicity is ideal.

In this image: Zwilling/J.A.Henckels Professional "S" series knives, Boos Block cutting board.

As a follow-up and continuation of the promised aforementioned series in last month’s article “Last Minute Cast Iron Supper”, I decided to buy some more meat for the cast iron pot.  This time, it was inspired by an episode of “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations”, which, I’ll admit, will be a large influence on many of the cooking articles on this site for awhile.  In this episode, Bourdain claims that every American should know how to make a stew, and showed a simple 5-ingredient Beef Bourguignon.

Burgundy, I presume..

So I went to the store and bought the best non-leaky-package pot roast I could find, an onion, carrots, and a handle of $7 Burgundy (a necessity in this dish according to Bourdain) Wine.  That’s cheap wine, but it was the only Burgundy I could find.  The recipe?  As usual, season and brown the meat, set it aside, season and saute the vegetables, add liquid (wine), add back the meat, and wait.

While I waited on the stew..

In summary, it didn’t turn out like what I saw on the show.  Instead of a rich, bubbly, thick purple wine sauce that looked like a cross between melted grape jelly and motor oil, I got a grey beef stock liquid and shiny, tough, dry meat.

Grey liquid??

Still, as frustrated as I was with Bourdain’s cavalier attitude about the recipe, he was right when he said it improves as you keep cooking it – I let it go for a couple of hours, and it just kept getting better.  Still, its not perfect.

After 2 hours..

Anthony, I think I’ll be the judge of what I should know how to cook, but damnit, now I have to figure out how to cook this correctly.

Final Result.

Stay tuned for monthly updates in a series titled Buying Random Meats, and Putting them into Pots.

eef Bourguignon

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