Monday 7 January 2013

Filet of Beef Bourguignon! Apres' ski!

During the Winter months I like to prepare rustic recipes that warm me up and make me feel cozy! These hearty dishes are usually made with staples from the land, such as potatoes, root vegetables, bitter Winter greens, meats and cheeses. My favorite and a sure winner for carnivorous guests is Beef Bourguignon, a stew traditionally consisting of a tough cut of beef, slow-cooked in Burgundy wine until falling apart tender, mingling with carrots, onions and mushrooms in a rich, savory stock. I used filet of beef, cutting the cooking time down and making the dish more elegant. It is a delicious one-pot meal perfect for a cold night or in my case apres'-ski meal. It is easily made in advance, and like most stews, tastes even better the next day for easy planning. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, a roaring fire, friends and family!

I prepared this dish that I adapted from Ina Garten, another domestic goddess to be praised..... While most of her recipes have lots of butter, this one is toned down, but, nonetheless good! It traveled easily in a large zip lock freezer bag in our cooler on our 4 1/2 hour drive to Whistler, BC, from Seattle. Our friends Gerry and Lin, who live their Winter months in Whistler, invited us all over to their lovely chalet. I offered to bring my Beef Bourgougnon, while Lin filled in with a large variety of appetizers, a salad, some homemade Chinese dumplings and some chocolate! Perfect!

Wee Bear couldn't resist sampling Lin's homemade dumplings, while she was cooking them.!

Filet of Beef Bourguignon
adapted from Ina Garten
Total prep time 1 hour 10 minutes

1 3 lb. filet of beef trimmed and cut into 1-2" cubes
1 tsp. salt(extra for seasoning meat)
1/2 tsp. pepper(extra for seasoning meat)
3-4 T. olive oil
1/3 lb bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 c. good red wine, such as burgundy or cabernet
3 c. beef stock
1 T. tomato paste
3 sprigs thyme
1 package or 12 ounces pearl onions, peeled 
6-8 carrots, cut diagonally into 1" thick slices
3 T unsalted butter
4 T flour
3/4 lb. assorted mushrooms,  (I used shitake, chantrelles and button) sliced 1/4" thick

With a sharp knife, cut the filet crosswise into 1" thick slices, then into 1-2" cubes. Salt and pepper the meat on all sides. In a large, heavy bottomed pan saute the cubes on medium high heat, in batches with 2- 3 tablespoons of olive oil until browned on the outside, but very rare inside. Remove the beef to a platter. In the same pan, saute the bacon on medium low heat for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon and set it aside. Drain all the fat, except 2 T, from pan. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

 Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium high heat for 10 minutes. 

Strain the sauce and return it to the pan. Add the pearl onion and carrots and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until sauce is reduced and vegetables cooked. (At this point I added the onions and carrots and put into the freezer bag, to do the 20-30 minutes of cooking when I was about to serve, a few days and 200 miles later:-) 

Mash the butter and flour together with a fork  and whisk it gently into the sauce, simmer to thicken.

Saute the mushrooms separately in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon oil for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender. (I put the bacon and the mushrooms in a small freezer bag, to add later, when I prepared the dish)

Add the filet of beef, the mushrooms, and the bacon to the pan with the vegetables and sauce. Cover and reheat gently for 5- 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Adjust seasoning and enjoy! Serves 6-8 hungry skiiers!!

I served with rotini noodles, however, I often serve with German spaetzles. Per my mentor Eva Kenly.

 For those of you who have a healthier start to your New Year, substitute beef stock for the red wine. 

Calories: 605 without the wine- 1 cup serving, without the noodles.  
 Our 2013 Family Ski trip is well under way! We have friends coming in and out, and are busy enjoying everything Whistler/Blackcomb has to offer! To much to tell, but here are a few highlights! The snow is perfect and it continues to fall periodically throughout the day and night! We are living in a Winter Wonderland and loving every minute!

The Peak to Peak gondola:

1.88 miles(3.03 km) unsupported span, 2.7 miles(4.4 km) total distance. 1,430 feet (436 metres) above Fitzsimmons Creek, at the highest point! Our ski pass allows us to travel as many times as we want between Whistler ski area and Blackcomb ski area easily.

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a tri-cable gondola lift located in Whistler, British Columbia that links Whistler Mountain's Roundhouse Lodge with Blackcomb Mountain's Rendezvous Restaurant. It is the first lift to join the two side-by-side mountains. It holds world records for the longest free span between ropeway towers—3.03 kilometres (1.88 miles) and highest point above the ground—436 metres [1](1,430 feet.)[2] (A temporary aerial tramway in Switzerland used between 1979 and 1986 had larger span.) The Peak 2 Peak Gondola was built by the Doppelmayr Garaventa Group in 2007 and 2008 at a cost of CDN$51 million.[3] The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the first Doppelmayr "3S" tri-cable lift in North America; there are four similar but smaller lifts in Europe which were built in 1991, 1994, 2002, 2004 and 2010 in Switzerland, Austria, France and Germany.[4] Whistler-Blackcomb has touted the gondola as an iconic attraction and uses it to transport skiers in the winter months as well as sightseers year round.

Non skiiers, Walker, Missy and Wee Bear joined us for lunch after doing the Peak 2 Peak on top! 

JJ and Amy

Wee Bear snapped this picture of Amy and I Apres' Ski, in our condo, viewing comments and emails about the blog! Note truffle popcorn and Veuve Cliquot!

Paradise a term for a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the supposed miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment.


  1. This is the best beef bourguignon ever! I have made this many times, and everytime it gets top honors in my crowd! Dick Becker

  2. I made this yesterday...everyone wanted the recipe! Sue


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