Bring Home A True Taste of France (August 9 – August 15)

Boeuf Bourguignon is a hearty and impacting dish which originated in the region of Burgundy, in France. There are many variations. For my version, I don’t utilize the traditional inclusion of bacon and I marinate the beef in Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Pinot Noir. Also, I like the taste of leeks which adds another depth of flavor to the sauce. The ingredients for the overnight refrigerated marinate are: a Filet of Beef, per person; one bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; 1 peeled carrot; 1 well-washed leek cut in half; 1 celery stalk, herbs – thyme, a bay leaf and juice of one tomato. The next day: Slice 6 peeled carrots; slice 2 washed leeks; cut 8 baby tomatoes in half; and slice 5 celery stalks. In a sauté pan, sauté at least 8 or more mushrooms caps in brandy and butter until the flavors are incorporated. You are not trying to cook the mushrooms, just infuse them. Reserve.
In a roast pot on the stove, lightly sear the beef (only) in a dash of olive oil and 2 Tabs of butter. Remove the beef. Sauté the sliced vegetables: carrots, leeks, baby tomatoes, and celery. Add more oil and butter, as needed. Add the seasoning of a tiny dash of salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Add 2 Tablespoons of Brandy. Add 3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste and stir vigorously while heating. Slowly add 3 Tablespoons of flour and stir vigorously. Slowly and alternating add a 2nd bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and beef stock (broth). Don’t add more liquid until each portion becomes a smooth liquid. After adding the wine and beef stock, add the seared beef filets back into the pot. Add the brandied mushrooms into the pot. Add thyme to the pot. Simmer to reduce the liquid for 2 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes, uncovered. 30 minutes prior to serving, check the thickness of the sauce. It should be able to coat the backside of a spoon, but not too thin. If you need to thicken the sauce, remove 2 cups of the sauce and pour that into a 4-cup heat proof measuring cup. Add 2 – 3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch and stir the mixture in the large measuring cup vigorously. Strain that thicken liquid back into the sauce and stir. Just prior to serving, add 1 can of well-drained Peas. Serve over Pasta.

*Note: While the sauce is simmering, prepare the noodles. Don’t over or under cook the pasta. Drain it, rinse it, and then coat the pasta with melted butter. Toss. You can sprinkle on dried chopped basil. Don’t add salt. Reserve.

If you are missing the travel experience to France, this is the perfect dish to let the home-cooked aromas surround your senses and bring back special memories as you create new moments with your family. Include the youngsters in the culinary journey by having them share facts about France during dining. Let those who have traveled there, share their favorite memories. Decorate the table with postcards with Parisienne images. Play some French music or of French composers. Indulge in the cultural heritage; it is as easy as energizing your enthusiasm for a Francophile destination experience! © Kelly McBride Loft

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