Gourmet food doesn’t have to leave you penniless. I share with you how you can totally make Ina Garten Beef Bourguignon on a budget.
Yes, 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.
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.
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!
Another gourmet meal that won’t break the bank: Slow Cooker Chicken Fricassée
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz diced bacon
- 2 1/2 lb beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup Cognac or brandy
- 2 cup dry red wine
- 2 cup beef broth
- 1 TBS tomato paste
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 3 TBS unsalted butter, softened
- 2 TBS all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
- 1 lb frozen pearl onions
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil and bacon.
- Cook bacon until lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
- Season beef with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Remove the seared meat to the plate with the reserved bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned.
- In the remaining hot oil add onion slices.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions start to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour in Cognac or brandy.
- Very carefully, stand back, and ignite Cognac with a match to burn off the alcohol. Should only take 1-2 minutes.
- 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.
- Return the meat and bacon back into the pot with its juices.
- Add wine and beef broth until meat is almost covered.
- Stir in tomato paste and thyme.
- 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.
- Combine 1 TBS butter and flour in a small bowl until a paste is formed.
- Stir butter mixture into the stew.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 2 TBS butter.
- When butter is melted add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and then add to the stew.
- Add frozen pearl onions to the stew.
- Bring stew to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve.
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.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 673 Total Fat: 38g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 157mg Sodium: 962mg Carbohydrates: 17g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 49g