Burgundy Beef Bourguignon is a well-known beef stew recipe made out with the high quality meat from the Charolais cattle. This French speciality has indeed become a classic on restaurants' menus and, as it is easy to prepare and delicious when reheated, this beef and potato stew is also widely cooked for family gatherings.
The boeuf bourguignon is a rich stew prepared with beef braised in wine (preferably a full-bodied Burgundy red wine). The tender meat is then stewed with vegetables from the market like potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and seasoned with a typical French bouquet garni (mix of thyme, bay leaves and parsley).
The traditional Burgundy stewed beef recipe specifies that the meat must come from the Charolais cattle, one of the most renowned cattles in France. "Charolais" labelled beef is indeed so tender and tasty that it has become a reference in the French gastronomy, appreciated grilled as well as cooked in stew.
The white Charolais cattle is a common sight in Burgundy, particularly in the south of the French region, around Charolles and St-Christophe-en-Brionnais. The Charolaise cow feeding is essentially based on hay, fodder and cereal, this healthy alimentation may explain the outstanding quality of the meat.
Top Tip! Popular feasts are organized every year in Burgundy, in late August, to celebrate the very popular Charolais beef. During the convivial "Fête du Charolais" in Saulieu for example, meat lovers, Bourguignon farmers and musicians are gathered up in the streets - whilst foreign visitors are usually enjoying some Beef Bourguignon at one of the stands!
The authentic beef bourguignon recipe was first mentioned by Auguste Escoffier at the beginning of the 20th century. But like many other regional specialities, the beef bourguignon has undergone many variations, becoming slowly a classic of the French refined cuisine and the "ambassador" of Charolais cattle!
The meat was traditionally larded with French bacon but modern versions of Burgundy's beef and potato stew no longer imply this "technical" preparation.
Nevertheless, the beef bourguignon coo/king usually begins two days before serving, this softens up the meat while conserving all the aromas.