Fratelli Perata Winery

Beef Burgundy from the 60's

In the early 1960's, you tried to be modern: TV dinners were in vogue. The backlash to this was Julia Child in the late '60's (and on), whose recipes at that time were true to French tradition, and seemingly endlessly long. Luckily, Beef Burgundy doesn't have to be prepared all in one day. The flavors of the finished product are even better when served the next day. Time can be on your side, just like with a good red wine.

Break this recipe down into its parts. Plan to serve it on a day you have time to enjoy the food, your dinner companions, and the wine. Please note: this recipe is not an attempt at a really authentic Boeuf Bourguinon, just as our Cabernets do not try to exactly replicate a Bordeaux red. We are whom we are, where we are, after all, and good in our own way. 

4 ounces pancetta
3 pounds beef   
3 cups red wine   
olive oil   
2 cups beef stock, or bouillon
1 T tomato paste       
3 cloves garlic           
1/2 tsp thyme, dried       
1 bay leaf           

Cut the pancetta into matchstick size, 1"x1/4". Place in heavy skillet, cook to render fat. Remove  pancetta. Cut beef into 2-3" cubes, brown in same skillet as pancetta using rendered fat and olive oil if needed. May need to do this in several steps. Place in ovenproof, 4-qt. casserole. Drain skillet of fat, add wine to skillet, and stir to incorporate browned bits of flavor in the pan. Add wine to beef and pancetta, add stock to cover all meats. Add rest of ingredients.

Cover, place in 325 degree oven for approximately 3 hours until beef is fork tender.Break point if necessary. Just refrigerate and reheat next day.

1 pound mushrooms
1 T olive oil
1T butter
24 cipollini, small white onions
1 T butter

Clean mushrooms, remove tough stems, cut into quarters. In skillet, melt butter with olive oil until hot. Add mushrooms and quickly sauté about 3 minutes.

Cook in boiling water until outside peel loosens. Remove peel. Cut x into root. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan, add onion, cover with water, cover pan, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

Assemble: drain beef, keeping liquid. Using 2 1/2 cups (add more stock if you don't have enough). Drain liquid from onions. Make a roux with:

3T butter
3T flour
2 1/2 cups beef liquid, as above
All onion liquid

Melt butter, add flour, slowly add liquids, using wire whip to blend to smooth sauce.

Add mushrooms and onions to beef, pour sauce over, stir and heat slowly to serving temperature. Serve with wide egg noodles combined with the beef, or garlic mashed potatoes on the side.