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Beef Burgundy for a Crowd – a Shorcut

December 22, 2010 | Meat & Poultry, Technique

Many of you, as I sit and type this, might be stressing about how you are going to pull off a holiday meal for your extra large gathering of friends and family. Don’t stress – I’ve got a secret shortcut on a delicious version of a Beef Burgundy that is simple to do for a large group. Best thing – you can prep it the day before and just stick it in the oven a bit before dinner time on Christmas or New Year’s. Start by frying up bacon in a large Dutch oven.When it’s just about crisp, add beef scraps. I purchase a whole beef tenderloin, then use the trimmings for this part of the recipe. Cook the beef scraps with the bacon until the beef is browned.At this point you’ll want to drain off the fat from the bacon and meat before proceeding, then return it to the pan.Next add aromatic vegetables – carrots, celery and onion – and let them cook for a few minutes, then add red wine and beef stock. I also add a little demi-glace or Better Than Bouillon just to enhance the flavor. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let this simmer for 30 minutes to extract all the flavor.While the sauce is cooking, prepare the vegetables for the finished dish – quartered crimini mushrooms and pearl onions. This is one of the very few times I purchase frozen vegetables as peeling those little baby onions is a chore. Let them thaw and they’re ready to go.You’ll need to cook the mushrooms down in some butter and oil until they are really well caramelized and have lost all of their moisture – don’t rush the process, as it takes some time on medium heat.While the mushrooms cook down, prepare the beef. For a no fail recipe, I take the whole tenderloin that I trimmed and cut it into 6 ounce medallions. Sear these off in some oil in a very hot skillet, just until brown on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side. They will still be raw inside – not to worry, as they are going to finish cooking in your sauce the day of your dinner.

I wasn’t able to photograph the final steps pulling this together as I was doing the dish for a catered dinner for 40 and had to rush the plating in the kitchen, but it’s easy to finish. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Return the liquid to the Dutch oven and thicken it with some butter and flour that is mashed together, then add the caramelized mushrooms and onions and let it cool. Lay out the seared beef medallions in a baking dish or hotel pan large enough to hold them all without crowding too much (a little overlap is ok), then pour the cooled sauce over the top. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Heat oven to 350 degrees about 90 minutes prior to dinner and reheat the entire casserole dish with the beef and the sauce until it’s heated through and the steaks have achieved the desired level of doneness. The large the quantity, the longer it will take. If the dish is ready before you’re ready to sit down, just leave it covered on the counter to rest as it will retain it’s heat. To serve, lay a beef medallion on creamy polenta or mashed potatoes then top with a ladle of sauce and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley.


Beef Burgundy for a Crowd
Serves 20

1 whole beef tenderloin, about 7 pounds, trimmed and scraps reserved
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pancetta or bacon, diced
2 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 large carrots, coarsely chopped
4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
4 cups red wine
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon demi glace (beef or veal)
2 pounds pearl onions, peeled
8 tablespoons butter, softened
8 tablespoons flour
2 pounds mushrooms, quartered (crimini best)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the pancetta or bacon in a large Dutch oven until mostly browned and the fat has melted. Add the beef scraps and sauté until well browned, and then drain off the fat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and thyme and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the red wine, stirring up all of the browned bits from the bottom, and then add the beef stock and demi-glace. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the sauce, and return it to the pot, discarding solids. Prepare the mushrooms in a separate skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and olive oil together and sauté the mushrooms until browned, about 20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter and the flour, then whisk into the sauce to thicken. Add the mushrooms to the onions and sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the beef into one inch thick medallions and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and sear the beef medallions on each side until lightly browned. Lay out the seared beef medallions in a baking dish or hotel pan large enough to hold them all without crowding too much (a little overlap is ok), then pour the cooled sauce over the top. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Heat oven to 350 degrees about 90 minutes prior to dinner and reheat the entire casserole dish with the beef and the sauce until it’s heated through and the steaks have achieved the desired level of doneness. The large the quantity, the longer it will take. If the dish is ready before you’re ready to sit down, just leave it covered on the counter to rest as it will retain it’s heat. To serve, lay a beef medallion on creamy polenta or mashed potatoes then top with a ladle of sauce and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley.

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  1. Thought I would comment and say awesome theme, did you design it yourself? Looks really good!

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