Michael Van de Elzen: Beef Bourguignon

Michael Van de Elzen,
Publish Date
Sunday, 23 April 2017, 1:33PM
One of Michael Van de Elzen's favourite winter dishes is Beef Bourguignon. (Supplied)

The days are becoming cooler. Sad if you're a summer lover, but I personally love winter. It's a time that seems to stand still, just for a while. But with this cold weather comes a desire for winter warmers and we are talking bout food.

One of my favourite winter dishes is Beef Bourguignon. This well-known dish has its roots from the Burgundy region in France. Beautiful Burgundy, known in French as 'Bourgogne', is 100 km southeast of Paris, stretching 360 km. It has more than 2000 communes, and is one of France’s most fascinating regions, known equally for its historical political intrigue as for its dazzling architecture, excellent wines, and rich cuisine.

Chef Auguste Escoffier first published the recipe in the early 20th century. Over time the recipe became the standard-bearer, using a whole piece of beef in the stew. Much later, Julia Child used beef cubes rather than a whole piece, bringing Boeuf Bourguignon to the notice of a whole new generation of cooks.

Beef Bourguignon
Prep time: 12 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins

1 kg rump steak, fat trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
400g streaky bacon, roughly chopped
8 swiss brown mushrooms, washed and halved
12 baby onions, peeled
1.5 cups red wine
1 cube beef stock
1 handful fresh thyme plus extra for garnish
280g green beans, ends trimmed
white pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into large cubes and sear in a large casserole dish (with a lid). Remove meat and set aside. Add a little more oil to casserole dish and sauté whole onions. Add bacon and sauté, then mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes. Add red wine, stock cube and thyme. Bring to boil on stovetop with lid off, then put in oven with lid on. Cook for 25 minutes then remove lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Just before serving, blanch beans in a pot of salted, boiling water for 1 minute then refresh in iced water to halt cooking.

Serve beef bourgignon over mashed potato with beans on the side. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
Prep time: 4 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

3 large Agria potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain potatoes and cover with a tea towel for 2 minutes. Mash potatoes then gradually whisk in olive oil until smooth. Season to taste.

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