Few dinners compare to the quiet pleasure of dining with this star of country French cooking, a glass of vin rouge, and a loaf of fresh baked crusty bread. Through generations of time, boeuf bourguignon’s spawn has found its way into many homes under many guises, as was such in our grandmother’s home. We could well call this version Brown Rice Boeuf Rhone, as ours uses a fuller bodied Syrah or red Rhone type in lieu of a Burgundy. Also unique is the use of rice in preparation; it modestly thickens the sauce and absorbs its essence into each whole grain much like a handful of bread. Long cooking time extracts and hones the essence of each ingredient’s amplified qualities, transforming those into flavorfully refined layers of nuanced, succulent taste. Seared and caramelized beef simmered in fine Syrah, Beulah Land Tan Brown Rice, and a handful of earthy vegetables slowly meld flavors for the heartiest of fare. This will take you back to your grandmother’s wintertime dinner table where the dish’s savory scents saturated the home and its time honored, slow cooked resplendence warmed a work worn soul, generations before molecular gastronomy was conceived. Its preparation…
3 ½ pounds stewing beef possessing some marbling, cut in 1 to 1½ inch chunks
½ pound of bacon or jowl, skin removed, cut into cubed lardons about ¼ to ½ squares or strips
Ground black pepper to season beef, to taste
¼ to ½ cup Delta Belle Rice Flour, to dredge browned beef (wheat flour if not gluten tolerant)
4 carrots, sliced into varying thickness discs ¼ to ½ thick
1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, split lengthwise, then diced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tsp thyme, fresh and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cups of good red Rhone, Syrah, or Burgundy
3 cups beef stock, perhaps another cup for thinning
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp butter
1 pound pearl onions, blanched and skins removed
1 pound fresh button mushrooms, caps only, quartered if large
½ cup plus 1 tbsp Beulah Land Tan or Beulah Land Medley Ecogrown Brown Rice
Parsley for garnish
(note: need heavy, large, and medium height Dutch oven or braising pan with tight fitting lid)
In Dutch oven or braising pan, fry bacon or jowl lardons until just crispy with much of fat rendered; remove and set aside. Dry the beef with a towel so that no visible moisture is present (it will brown better). Increase heat of Dutch oven, season beef with pepper, and brown batches of beef in pork fat (do not crowd) so that each side develops some caramelization. Remove and set aside each batch. Sauté the garlic, diced onion, carrots, and celery until onions begin to soften. Remove and set aside.
Turn oven on to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dredge or coat the beef with the flour. Replace any cooking oil needed to re-brown beef in Dutch oven and brown on all sides in batches until light crust develops. Remove and set aside.
Add wine to Dutch oven, and scrape to deglaze. Simmer and reduce wine for 10 minutes.
Place beef back in Dutch oven. Add stock, sautéd vegetables, thyme, bay leaf, and tomato paste, making sure beef covered by about a ½ inch of liquid. Blend well, and bring to simmer. When simmering well, cover with lid, place in oven and braise for 3 or 4 hours.
Remove from oven, check for sauce consistency. Flour crust on beef will have somewhat thickened sauce, and this needs to be thick enough to lightly coat spoon. Add rice and ½ to ¾ cup beef stock if too thick. Replace lid, and place back in oven for 50 minutes.
In skillet, melt butter and sauté pearl onions until light brown on all sides. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are lightly browned (5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Remove Dutch oven from oven and add lardons, pearl onions and mushrooms, gingerly mixing with contents. Replace lid and place back in oven for 10 minutes. Remove, serve garnished with parsley, and enjoy!