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Ellie's Boeuf Bourguignon Lite

This is the recipe from Eleanor's "Lighten Up Your French Favorites" article, which she thinks of as "Lighten Up Your French Favorites Until They Taste Like Cardboard." Tested on my own friends at dinner, though, this light version takes advantage of good wine and fresh herbs so you don't even miss the bacon or butter.

4-6 servings
1 cup Burgundy or Pinot Noir*
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds beef (loin, sirloin, or top round), cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup baby carrots, chopped or whole
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup low- or non-fat beef stock
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon allspice
Salt and pepper to taste
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish, coarsely chopped

Mix wine and garlic in a glass or stainless steel dish and marinate meat for at least one hour. At high heat, sear beef chunks on all sides in an olive oil-coated Dutch oven, reserving wine and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and stir in chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until onion begins to soften. Using a sieve or sifter, sprinkle meat mixture with flour. Stir while cooking until a crust forms on the beef. Pour in wine and beef stock, scraping the pan to deglaze it. Add mushrooms and fresh herbs and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, and up to 3-4 hours. Garnish with parsley and serve with boiled new potatoes, mashed potatoes, or Eleanor's favorite: buttered noodles.

*These are actually the same grape. For an authentic-to-the-book experience, try an Oregon Pinot Noir.

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