It’s getting to be the season to cook things low and slow! And what more elegant way to do so than by braising some beef in a Bordeaux. That’s how we rolled for this French #Winophiles visit to the famous Bordeaux region, with this delicious Bordeaux Braised Beef recipe.
Bordeaux is such a famous region, I don’t think I’m going to spend time giving background on it. What I will do is try to dispel the myth that you can’t get a good Bordeaux for a decent price. I did so in dramatic fashion by using the better part of a bottle of Bordeaux to braise an inexpensive cut of beef shoulder roast. *gasp*
Yes, I did empty most of a Bordeaux into the marinade, which later became our braising liquid. It may sound extravagant, but the Chateau Bel Air used for the cooking was only $12. I used 2 1/2 cups of the wine, so that meant there was some left for sipping as the beef cooked. It was fairly pleasant to drink, and I’d consider getting another bottle just for drinking.
Cooking tips: You might think I didn’t use the whole bottle of wine for cooking just because I wanted to drink some. Well, there is that…but for a braise, you don’t need the entire piece of meat to be covered in liquid. You really just need enough to generate moisture for the cooking process. Using a moderate amount of liquid will lead to a sauce at the end that is thick and flavorful, without needing to reduce further after the braising time.
Wine Pairing: Going back to the point about being able to get a decent Bordeaux for a good price. The Bordeaux we served with dinner wasn’t $12, but it didn’t break the bank, either. The 2010 Chateau Patache d’Aux Cru Bourgeois ($26, 13% ABV) from the Médoc shows a very good quality Bordeaux can be had for a moderate price. I get light pine on the nose, cherry fruit and good structure, with a little spice on the finish. As you might suspect, this wine from the Left Bank has Cabernet Sauvignon as the primary grape, with a good bit of Merlot and a bit of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Just enough tannins to work well with the fat in the beef.
No surprise, the Bordeaux in our glass was a great pairing for the flavorful and tender Bordeaux Braised Beef! And the whole production, 2 bottles of wine and the beef, came together for under $50. Oh yeah, and there were ten servings. Try to duplicate that at a restaurant! In other words, here’s a meal you can enjoy with a nice bottle of Bordeaux, and still call yourself frugal. Go ahead, try it!
- 4.5 lbs beef shoulder roast
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sage
- 2 thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ cups Bordeaux or other red wine
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 parsnip, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 head roasted garlic (or 3 cloves minced garlic)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mashed potatoes or other starch like noodles for serving
- Make the marinade: in a large bowl, combine the rosemary, sage, thyme, coarsely chopped onion, carrot and garlic (reserving the finely chopped aromatic vegetables for later). Pour in the wine, then add the bay leaves and salt. Stir to combine.
- Pat the beef dry, then place in a large, sealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the beef. Seal the bag and shake gently to coat the the beef with the marinade.
- Place the beef with marinade into the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees when you are ready to cook.
- Place a colander in a large bowl. Pour the beef and marinade into the colander. Scrape the large bits of vegetables and herb off the beef, and remove the beef to a plate. Reserve the the braising liquid and the items in the colander.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven on the stove top, medium heat. Add the beef, brown on each side, about 10 minutes. Remove the beef to a platter.
- As the beef browns, remove the pieces of carrot and garlic from the colander, and chop them into smaller pieces.
- Heat the other tablespoon of olive in the dutch oven. Add the finely chopped onion, carrot, parsnip and celery. Saute on medium until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beef back into the dutch oven. Pour the reserved marinade over the beef. The add the garlic and carrots from the marinade to the dutch oven, along with two of the bay leaves and roasted garlic (squeezed out of the skin).
- Cover the dutch oven, and remove it from the stove top to the oven. Let it slowly braise for 4 hours. No need to check it, just let it slowly cook!
- After the four hours of braising, carefully move the dutch oven from the oven to the stove top. Carefully remove the cover. Use a large fork to move the beef to a platter.
- Keep the braising liquid warm on the stove top on low heat. Stir it, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the beef into serving portions. It will tend to crumble into tender little pieces. Plate servings of mashed potatoes, Scoop up a portion of the beef, and serve of the mashed potatoes. Finish by ladling a generous portion of the braising liquid over the beef and potatoes. Enjoy with a good red Bordeaux!
Be sure to check all the great #winophiles Bordeaux blog posts!
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Coquilles Saint-Jacques with Château de Chantegrive Graves Cuvée Caroline”
David from Cooking Chat brings “Bordeaux Braised Beef”
Jeff from foodwineclick shares “Bordeaux Entrée: Mouclade de Moules & Chateau Les Bertrands”
Michelle from Rockin Red Blog is sharing “Oh Bordeaux You’re So Fine”
Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere brings us “Haricots Verts (Green Beans) Amandine paired with White Bordeaux”
Wendy from A Day in the Life on a Farm spices things up with “Indian Spiced Beef Bordeaux and a 2010 Chateau Dumas Cenot
Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva shares “Bordeaux by way of Burgundy”
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