Thursday, October 27, 2011

Munich — Le boeuf

The last few weeks saw an unusual lot of travelling, packing and unpacking, wardrobe-planning and other relocation-related things. After all this, I am glad to be back in Munich. To celebrate this the most apt way possible, I decided to embrace the cold weather and make something utterly old-fashioned, yet superbly delicious: Boeuf bourguignon. The basic recipe is so easy it's actually insulting for anyone who aspires to be a complicated chef. The outcome, however, is greatly dependent on whether or not you do things the right way — at the right time. Supposedly, I did.
Boef bourguignon is made with nothing more than beef (preferably shoulder or, as in this case, calves), shallots, carrots and wine. Lots of wine. I used a full bottle for a dish serving two to three people. You can add mushrooms if you like. The most important parts are browning the beef properly at the beginning and letting the whole thing cook for at least two and a half hours. The result should be a mellow, glaze-y ragù in a sauce aromatically beyond means of description.
I drank a 2006 Domaine Dufouleur with it, which fit the mood of the dish perfectly. If the boeuf is done perfectly, you don't really need any side dishes other than a slice of very good bread (I recommend a pain boulot). If you really must, try roughly mashed potatoes or pappardelle. Not that pappardelle were made anywhere near France, but oh well.

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