Nov 16, 2010

Alcohol-Free Boeuf Bourguignon (Pronounced: boof borg-in-yone)

EDIT: The recipe is toward the bottom.

When I was pregnant with The Boy, my mom took the whole family on a trip back east. We flew out but decided to take the train back home. This was a super great idea because I got to taste Boeuf Bourguignon for the very first time. And the second time...and the third time. (It was a REALLY long train ride)
The down side was, being pregnant, my nose was SUPER sensitive and I could smell the bathroom from three cars away. When we got home, I had to throw my toothbrush out, because it STILL smelled like the bathroom. But that's a story for another day.
Back to the boeuf.

I've wanted to make this dish ever since, but it has burgundy wine as a major ingredient. I'm not opposed to cooking with wine, but I just can't make myself BUY it, so I never attempted this little bit of heaven.

Then a few weeks ago I saw some beef that just screamed "BOURGUIGNON US!" And so I made it my mission to figure out an alcohol free version. First, I tried just straight up grape juice. This was a MAJOR mistake. Entirely too sweet for a dinner. Tonight, I tried again with some new beef and a different liquid. Is the suspense killing you yet? (This beef did not talk, just FYI. It also tasted better. I think I'll stick to non-talking meat in the future.) Oh, and I've totally figured it out. Ready? OK.

The original recipe came from, written by an actual, authentic French person, even.
Here's the exact link.
My recipe is basically the same, I just put more veggies in and changed up the wine and the spices. OK, so it barely resembles Gaelle's dish. But it's still yummy.

2.5 pounds chuck beef, cut into bite-sized cubes and tossed with flour
6 big carrots, peeled and sliced
3-4 cups pearl onions (if you don't have these, just use a regular yellow onion, but pearls are cuter!)
1 pound mushrooms
8 slices of bacon
several bay leaves
lots of parsley
2 tsp fancy mustard (the original calls for Dijon, which makes sense {it's a FRENCH dish, after all}. But because The Hubs thinks he's half Dutch all we had was Dusseldorf so that's what I used {it's a joke, peeps})
4 cups grape juice
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Poor a little olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. While it's heating, cut your beef into bite-sized pieces and toss with flour, to coat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, brown the salted beef. You don't have to cook it through, just sear the outside. 4ish minutes ought to do it.

While the beef is browning, mix the juice, water and vinegar in a pitcher and set aside. Also, start prepping your veggies.

When all the meat is cooked, crisp your bacon and drain the grease. (also, take the bacon out)

Now we are going to deglaze the pan.
  This is not as scary as it sounds
Add a little of your juice mixture to the pot and let it sizzle. Good, now scrape the bottom of the pot until you've got it mostly clean again. Then add your cut veggies, meat and bacon back to the pot. (don't pour out the glaze with the brown bits, that's the good part)

Pour the rest of the liquid in until you've just covered the meat and veggies. Add your spices and mustard.
Cover and simmer for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

When you've tried this recipe, holla back and tell me how amazing I am. I love to hear stuff like that. :)  If you have a similar recipe, leave it in the comments. I love trying new food!
Edit: If you want this dish to be JUST like AMTRAK's, I suggest thickening the liquid a bit with corn starch or flour and leaving out the veggies. Theirs was straight up meat and maybe taters. But deffinately meat.


Christina MC said...

STOP making me hungry. I'm trying to LOSE weight not gain.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am going to make this : )

Unknown said...

I am sooo going to make this tomorrow and IMPRESS the heck out of a few of my closest friends.
I'll be sure to let you know how it went!