What to Eat in France: Boeuf Bourguignon

By Saturday, November 14, 2015 Permalink 0

What to Eat in France: Boeuf Bourguignon, or Burgundy-style beef stew in red wine, inspired by French chef Bernard Loiseau

by Jonell Galloway

Boeuf à la bourguignonne, also referred to as beef or boeuf bourguignon, is a French classic from the Burgundy wine region of France. It is made with red Burgundy wine, and simmered for hours. It makes up part of what the French refer to as “plats cuisinés“, or slow-cooked dishes.

This recipe is quite easy to make, and should serve about 8 people. Plan to make it well in advance, since it is best when it is left to marinate for 24 hours and cook slowly several hours on the day of serving. It is the perfect dish for dinner parties or potlucks, and is one of the best leftovers around.

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Click here for metric-Imperial-U.S. recipe converter

Serves 8

Preparation time: 45 min

Cooking time: 2 1/2 to 3 hrs
Marinating: 24 hrs
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Migraine is a wine made from grapes grown around Auxerre in northern Burgundy.

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Wine & Food Pairing with Classic French Dishes

By Monday, August 19, 2013 Permalink 0

James Flewellen photo, wine tasting expert, The Art of Tasting Wine: James FlewellenJames Flewellen: Wine & Food Pairing with Classic French Dishes

by James Flewellen

 

Strawberries with red wine
Strawberries with red wine3liz4 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Cassoulet This depends on the choice of meat in the dish. Try a Chianti or another Tuscan wine, with more savoury notes for deeper-flavoured meats. Or a Barbera, or even a youthful claret if there’s more pork than game in the dish.

 Choucroute garnie If you stick to local Alsatian wines for this dish you really can’t go wrong. Use the same wine you’ve used in cooking if possible (typically Riesling), or go for a Pinot Gris.

Confit de canard (duck confit)
(from Southwest, cooked over
a fire in its own fat)
For this rich dish we have two options. One is to stay local and go for a spicy red wine from the south-west of France – a Tannat from Madiran or a Malbec from Cahors. Alternatively a full-bodied, oaked Chardonnay would also work. The acidity of the white wine will cut through the duck fat nicely. Choose a robust wine with enough body to stand up to the rich flavours though – Meursault from Burgundy, or a Californian pretender.

Coq au vin While red Burgundy is the classic pairing for this dish, a claret will also go very well. Choose one with a few years’ bottle age so the savoury developed notes complement the complex herbs in the sauce.

Andouillettes (sausage
made with chitterlings)
A tough dish to pair with on account of its strong flavours and somewhat acquired taste! Both reds and whites could work here. Light reds such as Beaujolais or Chinon will do well to complement the dish without dominating it with too much tannin. On the white side, a light, fresh style is best: perhaps Chablis, or the mountain-air notes of an Arbois from the Jura.

Escargots de Bourgogne (snails
baked in their shells with
parsley butter)
My favourite pairing for escargots in butter is champagne. The acidity helps out with the fat in the butter but the wine does not overpower the delicate flavours of the snail. A Chablis or other unoaked Chardonnay would also work.

Quenelle (flour; butter; eggs;
milk; and fish, traditionally pike,
mixed and poached)
The wine pairing depends on the fish used in the quenelle, typically pike. A fish quenelle would go very nicely with a Picpoul de Pinet. The lively, clean flavours of this wine complement fish nicely, and there is great acidity to cut through the butter and eggs.

Brandade de morue (puréed
salt cod)
Strongly flavoured fish dishes can be hard to find wine companions for. I’d suggest a very dry Alsatian or German Riesling. Being a bit more adventurous, you could also try a white wine from the Rhône – something based on Marsanne or Rousanne.

Bouillabaisse (a stew of
mixed Mediterranean
fish, tomatoes, and herbs)
For Bouillabaisse you want a wine that keeps pace with the rich flavours of the dish, but doesn’t detract from them. Keeping local, I would go for a Provençal rosé, or possibly a quality white wine from the south of France. If you’re in the mood for reds – try a light-bodied, acidic wine such as a Cabernet Franc from Chinon or a German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).

Ratatouille (a vegetable stew
with olive oil, aubergine, courgette,
bell pepper, tomato, onion
and garlic) with white fish
I go Italian when matching wine to tomato-based dishes. Try a juicy Dolcetto, Barbera or Primitivo. You could also go for Primitivo’s Californian cousin: Zinfandel.

Duck à l’orange Pinot Noir is the classic pairing for duck, however I find the orange in this dish doesn’t quite gel with the flavours in Pinot. Try a Grenache-based wine from the Southern Rhône, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The extra spice in the wine complements the orange.

Pot au Feu A hearty red wine is just the ticket for this meal. I’d go for a Merlot-based Claret from Pomerol in Bordeaux, but wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, or Grenache will also do beautifully. Just avoid something that is too jammy in fruit profile.

Blanquette de veau I can’t go past an Alsatian Riesling for this dish. Dry, austere, acidic – the perfect foil for the cream – and the fruit profile won’t obscure the meat.

 Sole meunière This dish cries out for a fruity, crisp, light white wine. My pick would be an Albariño from Galicia in Spain.

 Tournedos Rossini My classic pairing for this would be a juicy Left Bank claret. To take a step away from the norm, try a Tempranillo-based wine from Ribera del Duero. Unlike its cousins in Rioja, Ribera wines are more robust and full-bodied – ideal for the steak – and usually avoid the sweet-scented American oak.

Foie gras (terrine), served with
figs or onion jam
I’ve tried many things with foie gras and really don’t think you can go past the classic Bordelais pairing of Sauternes. The sweetness in the wine works beautifully with the salt in the terrine and the fruit profile goes well with the figs and onion jam.

 Steack-frites with Béarnaise sauce Let’s face it steak and red wine go together like a hand in a glove. If you want to emphasise the pepper in the Béarnaise then go for a peppery Syrah from the Northern Rhône or Shiraz from the Barossa.

 

 

Sign up for Jonell Galloway and James Flewellen’s  “Celebrate the Chartres Festival of Lights & Autumnal Equinox with a Food & Wine Tasting Masterclass” in France from September 19 to 22, 2013.

 

_____________________

Dr James Flewellen is The Rambling Epicure wine columnist. James is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford. Originally from New Zealand, James learned his trade in taste through the Oxford Blind Wine Tasting Society, of which he was the President from 2010-2012. During his term, he represented Oxford at many international blind tasting competitions – twice winning the prestigious ‘Top Taster’ Award in the annual Varsity blind tasting match against Cambridge University and captaining winning teams in competitions throughout Europe.

James runs wine education courses in Oxford through the Oxford Wine Academy and is completing the WSET Professional Diploma in Wine and Spirits. He is the founder of  The Oxford Wine Blog and co-author of the forthcoming book: The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting.

 

 

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Paris to the Pyrenees: David Downie Eats His Way Down the Way of St. James, Interview by Elatia Harris

By Monday, April 22, 2013 Permalink 0

 

Left: Cross with Rocks, copyright Alison Harris.
Right: Forest Cathedral, copyright Alison Harris

 

Interview by Elatia Harris

Their 50th birthdays in sight, the acclaimed travel and food writer David Downie, and his wife, the photographer Alison Harris, decided that trekking from Paris to Spain, would be just the thing. They are based in Paris, so the Way of St. James, for a millennium one of the world’s most celebrated pilgrimage routes, was right at their back door. Neither Alison nor David is religious — the classical pilgrimage experience was not what they were seeking. What were they seeking? Renewal, changed perspectives. Perhaps to test themselves, over 72 days and 1100 km of — at times — very rough terrain. And thereby hangs a tale.

Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. Jameslaunches this week. Scroll to the end to see book tour information. Permission to post on TRE the superb photos from the book was granted by Alison Harris.

  

ELATIA HARRIS: There has been a lot in the news lately on pilgrimage, however one understands the phenomenon. People who do it talk about needing to lose their routine and find themselves. Most set out alone, meeting others en route. You and Alison started together.

DAVID DOWNIE: Our choice to walk together happened organically. I had planned to do this on my own. Alison came along to keep me out of trouble. If you ask her, she’s likely to say it was her idea about 25 years ago, when she suggested we do something similar.

EH: Readers cannot but wonder how they would hold up, in these circumstances. I pictured a long leisurely walk through a French countryside movie. Cows, chateaux…oh, perhaps a few mildly strenuous stints.  I was so wrong. This was a test of all your combined resources. It would be for any couple. 72 days of togetherness and real physical hardship. And you had already spent years collaborating on your books.

DD: Like some old couples, we have merged in mind and spirit — if such a thing exists — while remaining very different people, and very pig-headedly independent. So, while we were together on the pilgrimage, we were often apart both in our mental spheres and physically. Alison stopped constantly, ran ahead, took detours, disappeared, got lost—often, though not always, in pursuit of a photograph. She probably walked twice as many miles as I did. By the end of the pilgrimage, my regard for her had only deepened. I can’t speak for her, of course.

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The Art of Tasting Wine with James Flewellen: Spotlight on Pinot Noir

By Monday, April 15, 2013 Permalink 0

The Art of Tasting Wine with James Flewellen: Spotlight on Pinot Noir

by James Flewellen

Pinot Noir is a light-skinned red grape originating from Burgundy in its modern form. Although, the Burgundians have been working with Pinot for around a thousand years, so the term ‘modern’ should be taken with a grain of salt!

 

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The grape typically produces light-bodied wines with aromas ranging from fresh red fruit (raspberry, strawberry, cherry) to black (blackberry, mulberry) depending on the local climate of the vineyard. Warmer sites tend to produce wines with ‘blacker’ and riper fruit flavours. Alongside the fruit, good Pinot exhibits a fresh minerally, or even pleasantly ‘grassy’ character – complemented by the grape’s naturally high acidity on the palate. With bottle maturation, the wine develops notes of mushroom and decaying autumnal leaves — expressed evocatively by the French term sous-bois — which translates as ‘forest floor’. The thin skins of the grapes mean that the wines are generally low in tannin, though tannins are usually very fine-grained and punctuate the wine sufficiently so it can be enjoyed with food.

Pinot Noir is a notoriously fickle grape and is very difficult to handle. Burgundy’s millennium of association with Pinot Noir means that it produces the best in the world — and that the Burgundian clones of the grape are ideally suited to Burgundy’s continental climate. Explaining Burgundy’s appellation system would take an entire post of its own, but there are two main subregions for Pinot Noir there: Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. These are further divided into villages, which may be further identified by vineyard — and these can be classified as either Premier Cru or Grand Cru indicating the quality level of the grapes.

Pinot grapes in Burgundy going through the pro...

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David Downie: Burgundy: Grapes No Gripes

By Thursday, August 18, 2011 Permalink 0

by David Downie

From Burgundy, land of emerald pastures, grapevines, giant white cows, and looping two-lane roads where tractors stop for crossing snails or lost chickens…no joke…

Somehow the wildflowers found their way into our watering can (made of plastic). We made about 10 bouquets for the house, and for friends, and put the rest in buckets and…watering cans…

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