GOOGLE HAS MORE THAN 50 PAGES on the subject of boeuf bourguignon and 40-plus on "beef bourguignon", prepared in the slow cooker (a.k.a. crockpot/crock pot), so I concluded there must be some demand out there for simplifying the preparation of that dish.
I don't know about you, but I don't find it easier to cook with a slow cooker, and that's why I hardly ever use it even though I've had one for years. My experience with it is limited to the cooking of dried beans, chick peas, whole yellow peas, and chicken stock. I like the way the beans and peas get really soft without falling apart.
So I went hunting for a beef bourguignon slow cooker recipe, limiting my search to a couple of reliable websites. Actually, all I wanted was a cooking time. I already had a very good beef bourguignon recipe for conventional cooking methods.
I used pretty well the same ingredients and recipe as the first one I gave here, with these differences:
- I used my own salt pork for the lardoons, instead of bacon like the last time;
- I added a few chopped tomatoes, which I had omitted last time (adds depth to the flavour);
- The wine I used was Beaujolais Nouveau, instead of Pinot Noir (not a great idea);
- There was more sauce, so I had to double the amount of beurre manié to thicken the sauce;
- I served it with buttered noodles, instead of herbed potatoes. Next day I had it with rice – the noodles are definitely a better fit.
How did it turn out?
So-so. I didn't like the texture of the meat; I guess it was overcooked because it was too dry. I didn't like the taste of the sauce either. It wasn't "my" boeuf bourguignon.
I'm not giving up though. I know folks are wanting to use their slow cooker for this dish, and rightfully so – so I'm going to start hunting for a way of making a perfect beef bourguignon in the slow cooker.
UPDATE: I kept my promise! Click here to see the excellent recipe I found.
Hmm.. a bit blurry... next time I'll use a tripod!
What did turn out great, though, was Julia Child's suggestion of serving boeuf bourguignon with buttered noodles instead of potatoes.
That rather complicated the recipe for me, because there's no place around here to buy fresh pasta, so I had to make the noodles from scratch.
I wasn't going to give you the recipe, I was just going to say, "Buy or make some fresh pasta", but then I remembered trying a new recipe once, from a website that I thought I could trust, and it was just awful.
Come back tomorrow for the recipe, or sign up for the email updates and you'll get it right in your inbox.
TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Lardons. This is what lardons (or "lardoons") look like. You start with salt pork belly, which you slice then cut into little sticks. Simmer in water for a few minutes to get rid of the excess salt, then fry in their own fat till golden and crisp.
They're better than potato chips – and just as hard to resist!
Beurre manié. I mentioned in another post that beurre manié was easier to mix on a plate. Well, it is.
This is what it should look like after you have mixed the butter and flour into a paste with a fork.