Friday, January 8, 2010

Boeuf a La Bourguignon

My beef stew differs from the traditional one in that it's much lower in calories and hypoallergenic. I replaced the bacon with grapeseed oil, and flour and butter are omitted. I used less meat (very lean stewing meat), more vegetables, and corn pasta. It took a lot of tries to get it just right. The prep and cooking time took 4 hours. In the end, having an egg free, dairy free, gluten free, and low calories yet delicious comfort food was all worth it.

I ask people what dish comes to mind when they think of me. This is the first dish that comes to their mind. Bumble is my nickname. I believe this dish represents me very well too. My fiancé has recently developed a severe allergy to eggs and has sensitivities to dairy, gluten, and various nuts and seeds. The biggest challenges has been finding hypoallergenic ingredients to cook the same dishes he has loved before without sacrificing the tastes. On top of that, I also need to lose some major weight for my wedding next year.

Taking away the traditional ingredients can make the the stew feel a little "thin" and lose that nice bacon aroma. I uses tomato paste as a thickening agent and added small cubs of potato to replace flour. For flavor, I added extra fresh herbs and use a Chilean Syrah or Spanish Grenacha (both of pretty cheap), instead of the traditional French Grenache. This is perfect stew to serve over pasta. I added mushroom sautéed in grapeseed oil which helped thicken the stew and added delightful surprises for the taste buds. When I need to impress my guests, I would add double smoke bacon. The instruction involving the bacon is added in red.

Ingredients (Serves 2):
  • 4 oz. Double Smoked Bacon
  • 1 lb. Lean Strew Beef (You can buy this at Meat Market on W.4th and Vine)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Carrots (cubed)
  • 1 Potato (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 cup Red Wine (Syrah or Grenache)
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 bulb of garlic (minced)
  • 3 springs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Bay Leaf
  • 8 Small White Pearl Onion
  • 150g Mushroom
  • 1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • Salt, Pepper, Vegetable Oil
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
2. Dry the beef with paper towl and season wth salt and pepper
3. Heat oil over medium heat. Saute the bacon for 2 minutes until lightly browned. move the bacon onto a side dish. Reuse the bacon fat to sear and brown the beef. If you are skipping the bacon, directly sear and brown the beef in the vegetable oil.
4. Remove the beef and set aside (with the bacon)
5. In the same pan, saute the onion, carrots, garlic, and pearl onions.
6. Once browned, drain the bacon fat, and add the beef and bacon.
7. Stir in the wine and stock until meat is just covered.
8. Add tomato paste and herbs.
9. Bring to a simmer then cover and place into the oven for 2-3 hours.
10. In a separate pan, heat oil to medium-high heat.
11. Saute mushroom for 30 seconds, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute
12. Turn off the heat and drizzle on sherry vinegar.
13. When the stew is ready, remove from the oven and add in the mushroom.
14. Remove fat off the surface of the stew and then simmer for another minute skimming off any additional fat that rise. Remove the bay leaves and thyme twigs.
Season to taste and garnish dish with chopped parsley.

You can serve this dish with boiled potatoes, rice, or buttered noodles. I use corn pasta or brown rice to cut calories. I also like to make a huge pot of this stew and enjoy it over the next two days. The stew is perfect with a bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir.

Healthy Boeuf A La Bourguignon on Foodista

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