Food

Valentine's Day Recipe: Anthony Bourdain's Boeuf Bourguignon

beef_bourgAhhh, Valentine's Day... This week, instead of sharing a recipe that we know both you and your little ones will love, parents -- this meal is all for you.

Every couple celebrates Valentine's Day a little bit differently, and in our home, this "Hallmark holiday" revolves around a favorite meal and some good ol' quality time. Each year we take turns, with one of us making a dinner that we know the other will love. It's fun -- and it's always a special surprise for the both of us. Sure, we could make reservations weeks in advance or get expensive tickets to see a show, but when it really comes down to it -- all that we're looking for is to spend a little time together.

This year, I'm on the receiving end of our traditional Valentine's Day meal, and so far, I've yet to gain any clues into what is going to be on the menu. (In five years, not one of these meals has been a disappointment, so I'm not too worried about it.)

However, there have been some stand-outs and this recipe for Anthony Bourdain's Boeuf Bourguignon is certainly one of them. Now known for being one of our favorite Sunday dinner recipes during the winter, this meal is rich and hearty, and I promise that it's absolutely perfect for a special Valentine's Day dinner.

So, if you've got a little extra time to spend on a fabulous meal for your valentine, definitely consider this recipe. (You'll also be happy to know that it even tastes better as leftovers the next day for lunch!)

One note: We typically make this dish and add it over mashed potatoes, or over roasted potatoes. However, as shown in the image, one picky eater declared that it was "latke night" so that's how we enjoyed this meal most recently. And you know what, all three of these ways have been absolutely delicious!

Here's wishing you and yours a special Valentine's Day!

Anthony Bourdain's Boeuf Bourguignon
As seen on The Washington Post

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef shoulder or neck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup red Burgundy
6 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic
1 bouquet garni (a tied bundle of herbs, usually thyme, bay and parsley)
A little chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation:
Stage One: Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat in batches -- NOT ALL AT ONCE! -- and sear on all sides until it is well browned (not gray). You dump too much meat in the pot at the same time and you'll overcrowd it; cool the thing down and you won't get good color. Sear the meat a little at a time, removing it and setting it aside as it finishes. When all the meat is a nice, dark brown color and has been set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium high until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over them. Continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the red wine. Naturally, you want to scrape up all that really good fond from the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon. Bring the wine to a boil.

Stage Two: Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni. Add just enough water (and two big spoons of demi-glace, if you have it) so that the liquid covers the meat by one-third -- meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat. This is a stew, so you want plenty of liquid even after it cooks down and reduces. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender (break-apart-with-a-fork tender).

You should pay attention to the dish, meaning to check it every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the meat is not sticking or, God forbid, scorching. You should also skim off any foam or scum or oil collecting on the surface, using a large spoon or ladle. When done, remove and discard the bouquet garni, add the chopped parsley to the pot, and serve.

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