A few questions about beef bourguignon

I'd like to make beef bourguignon for a family dinner on Saturday. I was planning to make beef bourguignon, mashed cauliflower with bacon, green salad, Alice Waters' carrots with honey glaze, and whiskey maple creme brûlée.
A couple of questions:
1) Is it fine to do the cauliflower mash instead of the more traditional noodles or polenta?
2) Do you have a favourite BB recipe? I usually just wing it with vague recollections from cooking school.
3) Are there any advantages to making carbonnade instead of BB?
4) Is my menu balanced or overlooking anything?

  • Posted by: Imogen
  • September 21, 2017


Nancy September 23, 2017
1) yes but I agree with Chef June that noodles or potatoes (I think, plain boiled) are trad
2) Julia Child's but there are many good ones
3) if you like beer, carbonnade is a nice alternative. There's space in the world for both
4) this dish is to me an epitome of comfort food, so fine almost on its wn...but/and if you want to liven it up add some crunch (a la Windishgirl) or green fresh (another direction)
ChefJune September 22, 2017
Polenta has nothing to do with Boeuf Bourguignon! "Traditional" would be noodles or mashed potatoes.
The mashed cauliflower would be a good sub for the carb, but since there is plenty of bacon in traditional Boeuf B, I wouldn't put it in the cauliflower.
ChefJune September 22, 2017
Oops, I answered the first question without reading the whole post.My bad. :(
So here's my version of Boeuf B: https://food52.com/recipes/25918-boeuf-bourguignon
Carbonnade would fit into your menu if you prefer. it's Belgian, Boeuf B is French. I couldn't do Carbonnade because I'm terribly allergic to beer, but that probably does not apply to you.
your menu sounds fine - and well balanced. :)
Stephanie B. September 21, 2017
1) Unless there's a specific reason to keep it traditional, serve it with the cauliflower! I think it sounds good. Last time I made beef bourg I just served it with crusty rustic bread and no one complained.
2) I use Serious Eat's recipe and I really like it. I don't use homemade stock if I don't have it already, nor have I ever bothered with the gelatin. If you try this one, don't skip on the fish or soy sauce, sound weird but it works!
3) Carbonnade sounds good too, just depends on if you want the wine or beer flavor in the dish.
4) If it were me, I would probably swap out the glazed carrots for a different veggie, since I always have a lot of carrots in the beef bourg already. I like Windischgirl's idea of something crispy too.
Stephanie B. September 21, 2017
woops I meant to post the serious eats recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/01/beef-bourguignon-red-wine-stew-recipe.html
SMSF September 22, 2017
Stephanie: Yum, that Serious Eats recipes sounds great! Will have to try it now that it's Fall. Thank you.
Stephanie B. September 22, 2017
SMSF I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It's not the most hands-off recipe but it's worth it, especially for a special occasion or nice dinner party. I've been waiting for cooler weather to make this again too.
Windischgirl September 21, 2017
The cookie that came to mind is the Pepperidge Farm 'Bordeaux' which is thin and crispy and crunchy. But I think you can do better than that!
Windischgirl September 21, 2017
1) I like the idea of mashed cauliflower...to soak up all that gravy!
2) I think my BB recipe is from Gourmet...I do know it goes in a slow oven for three hours and makes the house smell fab
3) Carbonnade would certainly work with this menu as well.
4) might just be me, but I want a crispy crunchy cookie to go with that creme brûlée. The only thing that seems missing from this menu is something with crunch. Textures are, for the most part, soft. So put some candied walnuts, crisp apple slices, and chopped celery in that salad. And a crunchy cookie with dessert!
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