Friday, February 24

Buffalo Buorguignon

Have you seen "Julie & Julia?" Remember the cute story about Bouef Bourguignon, and the scenes where Amy Adams is cooking the dish and it just looks so beautiful and delicious? The movie played it up to be so romantic. Well, I won't lie: I want to make some. It's on my "cooking bucket list." Anyone else have one of those? No? I know, I'm a food nerd. I like it that way  :)

When I saw a recipe for slow cooker "Beef Bourguignon" at Crock Pot 365 [my favorite place to find gluten free, slow cooker inspiration] and saw that it was completely do-able as a gluten free, dairy free, paleoish meal, I got excited! I knew I'd found a simple way to see if I liked the flavors of a Bourguignon roast before attempting the more intense Julia Child recipe, and it just so happened that we had buffalo stew meat in the freezer. I gave it a whirl and I have to say, I was delighted at how much the Hubs and I enjoyed it. The flavors came together very nicely in the slow cooker, the meat was tender and not gamey in the least. Delectable! You must get your hands on some buffalo stew meat and try this!

Slow Cooked Buffalo Bourguignon
adapted from Crock Pot 365's Beef Bourguignon

What you need:

1 pound buffalo stew meat pieces (grass fed beef would work)
4 slices uncured bacon
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup chopped carrots
2 tsp Tuscan style Italian seasoning (Herbs de Provence if you're a stickler for the traditional)*
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 cups red wine (I used "Two Buck Chuck" Charles Shaw Merlot from Trader Joe's)

*I looked up Herbs de Provence planning to make my own. It is a blend of basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, savory, thyme, and sometimes lavender. When I got to my spice cabinet I discovered that the McCormick Tuscan Style Italian Seasoning from Costco was very close and used that instead. It is a blend of thyme, garlic, marjoram, onion, rosemary, oregano, basil, savory and sage.

What you do:

I used my 3 quart slow cooker. Make whatever size you have work; this is casual slow cooking :)
Lay two slices of bacon in the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with onion slices. Put stew meat into crock on top of onions and bacon, and sprinkle on seasonings.
Lay remaining two slices bacon over the meat, and top with the carrots.
Carefully pour red wine over everything in the crock.

Cover and set to "High," and let it heat up until you can smell the wine in the air. Change the temp setting to "Low" and cook until meat reaches desired doneness (it took 3 to 4 hours here - I forgot to write down the exact time). If you like, you can take the lid off partway through cooking and stir everything, but then you will need to plan on some more time for cooking. Dish is ready when the carrots are tender and the meat is cooked to your desired doneness.

Serve with steamed Normandy vegetables drizzled with olive oil, and gravy. Make gravy by whisking together a little bit of juice from the slow cooker with a tablespoon of thickener such as cornstarch in a small bowl, then add it to the rest of the juices simmering in a small saucepan and whisk until thickened.

As Julia would say, "Bon apetit!"

Leftovers for lunch
Speaking of Julia, here she is, cooking her famous Bouef Bourguignon on the very first episode of "The French Chef." So much cooking wisdom in these twenty eight minutes. What a neat lady she was...