Beef bourguignon: secrets to success

The temperature drops and you start reaching for warming dishes like stews and meat in gravy. Raphael Haumon offers his tips for making a successful beef bourguignon.

Raphael Haumont

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Good luck with your beef bourguignon


A long weekend is always an opportunity to cook and simmer your meals for a few hours. But there are key steps to successful cooking and maximum flavor.

Advice on extrapolating blankets, carbonades or even beef stroganoff.

Importance of choice of meat

First of all, you should think about the choice of meat. Know that there are three main families of muscles:

– Fillet, cube steak, flank steak:
With low collagen, they cook very quickly. Grilled or grilled.
– Bottom coast, necklace, walnut git : Rich in collagen, these cuts require gentle and fairly long cooking. These are fried pieces.
– Gite, tail, tendon, scooter, chuck: They are gelatinous flesh and very rich in collagen. They need long preparation. Indeed, these muscles are very stressed by the animal, so they are elastic and firm. These are the pieces that give preference to crockery, they are also less expensive. These are not fatty pieces. They are very rich in collagen, which is beneficial for health.

Always brown meat

In order to grill or cook the slices, in both cases, the meat must be browned, thanks to the famous Maillard reactions. This is really very important, because they will give the meat a taste, texture on the surface and then participate in the good flavor of the sauce.

– In case of cooking, the meat should be browned, then almost fried in a little liquid. It is ideal in the occipital vessel.
– In the case of stewing, you have to cook very gently in the pot, and the meat is really covered with liquid.

The pieces are rich in collagen and elastin. It’s the large, intertwined proteins that provide strength. Cooking consists of stretching out these fibers to color the meat and make it melt in your mouth. Two actors are needed for this, heat and water. Water acts as scissors, this is hydrolysis, “lysis” is Greek for cutting, separating, loosening.

Beef bourguignon with or without marinade

Use the fat only to coat the meat, then remove. Place meat, vegetables, wine and broth in a clean bowl.

Be careful, the wine must be boiled or boiled first. It is really important to avoid alcohol because it tightens the muscles. Instead, you want to separate them, so cooking the wine and then touching the meat is not the same as cooking the wine and the meat at the same time.

This recipe is offered without marinade. Chemistry teaches us that it is not of much use, as the meat will acquire flavor during cooking. The fibers break down, which “makes room” for liquid, which can then “enter” the meat by capillary action.

If you want to make a marinade, boil the wine first, then let it cool before preparing the pieces for the marinade.

You can put everything cold in the pan. During very short cooking, if you start hot, you will quickly contract the meat through protein coagulation and “juice” may come out.

Aromatic bouquet, salt, pepper and leave for at least 1 hour 30 or 2 hours. Keep the heat very low, especially not at a high boil that will blow everything up. Thus, you remove the fibers, but maintain the integrity of the piece.

Remove the vegetables first or cook them on the side

In two hours, the vegetables give the broth all its flavor. There is no point in eating them because they will be bland and overcooked. Therefore, you can cook them on the side and then you can heat them for a few minutes in the sauce.

After two hours of cooking, drain the pieces. Strain the broth and reduce the sauce.

You can dust it with a little flour to give it texture and adjust the seasoning. That way, you’ll get tender pieces of meat, vegetables that have flavor and texture, and a well-reduced sauce.

It is the “real” chemical, with very little fat, collagen, vegetable fiber and still their vitamins. A real healthy winter dish!

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