Cheap Gourmet: Beef Bourguignon on a Budget


Cheap Gourmet: Beef Bourguignon on a Budget by FamilySpice.comYes, you can serve up gourmet food on on a budget! As the holidays fast approach, and family gatherings start to increase, whatever the occasion, here is a classic recipe that is easy on the budget. Although French cuisine is making a comeback, especially after the “Julie & Julia” frenzy, don’t be intimidated. It’s not that difficult to put together a meal that impress all of your guests.

Beef Bourguignon is a classic French beef stew – the epitome of gourmet food. And I am going to show you that you can prepare this uber gourmet meal on the cheap.

Cheap Gourmet: Beef Bourguignon on a Budget by FamilySpice.com

My favorite cut of meat for braising is the chuck roast and that is what is used for this famous dish. When on sale, you can find this for about $3-$4/pound. Sometimes cheaper. I always stock up and freeze chuck roast when I find it on sale.

Cheap meat, but yes, some pricey liquor. In this case, Cognac. But, if your house is like ours, my husband has a well-stocked bar and I was able to sneak in the 1/2 cup from cognac we already had on hand. If you don’t have cognac try substituting with Brandy Sherry or Port.

Torching the cognac, to burn off the alcohol, was a first for me and it was a bit dramatic. A big flash and it was over.

How to Prepare Beef Bourguignon on a Budget by FamilySpice.com

The original recipe called for a bottle of red wine, I used about half the amount. I also used my favorite cheap and tastey cooking wine: Two-Buck-Chuck (2015 update: the secret is out and Chuck prices went up to $2.49-$3.79 depending on which state yo live in). All you Trader Joe’s Fans know what I’m talking about!

The thyme I had in my garden. Onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste and broth – all I keep stocked in my pantry, all purchased on sale or in bulk. The pearl onions I used were frozen and also purchased on sale.

Overall, my Beef Bourguignon meal for eight came to roughly $1 per person (that is taking in the fact that my Cognac was already in stock).

Not bad… not bad at all!

Beef Bourguignon

This classic French recipe is basically a pot roast, a delicious and amazing high-class pot roast! Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Cognac
  • 2 cup red wine, dry
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 2 tsp thyme, fresh, or 1 tsp dried
  • 3 TBS butter, unsalted, softened
  • 2 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb pearl onions, frozen

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250º F.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add:
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    • 8 oz bacon , diced
  3. Cook bacon until lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
  5. Rinse & pat dry with paper towels:
    • 2 1/2 lb beef chuck roast , cut into 2-inch cubes
  6. Season beef with:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  7. In batches and in single layers, sear the beef in the hot bacon oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
  8. Remove the seared meat to the plate with the reserved bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned.
  9. In the remaining hot oil add:
    • 2 onions , sliced
  10. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  11. Add and cook for 1 more minute:
    • 3 garlic cloves , chopped
  12. Pour in:
    • 1/3 cup Cognac
  13. Very carefully, stand back, and ignite Cognac with a match to burn off the alcohol. Should only take 1-2 minutes.
  14. If fire doesn't go out by itself, and to prevent a grease fire, extinguish fire by covering pot with a metal lid. Do not use glass.
  15. Return the meat and bacon back into the pot with its juices.
  16. Add until meat is almost covered:
    • 2 cup red wine , dry
    • 2 cup beef broth
  17. Stir in:
    • 1 TBS tomato paste
    • 2 tsp thyme, fresh , or 1 tsp dried
  18. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork.
  19. Combine in a small bowl:
    • 1 TBS butter, unsalted , softened
    • 2 TBS all-purpose flour
  20. Stir butter mixture into the stew.
  21. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add:
    • 2 TBS butter, unsalted
    • 1 1/2 lb mushrooms , sliced
  22. Cook mushrooms for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and then add to the stew.
  23. Add to the stew:
    • 1 lb pearl onions , frozen
  24. Bring stew to a boil on top of the oven, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  25. Season to taste and serve.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Serve over rice, buttered noodles or with some hearty bread. You can also add 1-inch sliced carrots when you add the onions.

Cooking Tips: Although the classic Beef Bourguignon recipe asks for bourguignon wine specifically, you can use any dry red wine that you like to drink.

By using a chuck roast, this meal won't bust your budget, but it will still taste amazing!

* Fresh pearl onions can be used as well. First blanch in warm water to remove the skins, then add to the stew.

Prep Time:

Yield: 8 servings

Cook Time:

Beef Bourguignon Detail

Bon Appétit!

Another gourmet meal that won’t break the bank: Slow Cooker Chicken Fricassée

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