Serving
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Boeuf à la Gordienne
France - Provence
  -   Boeuf à la Gordienne
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 main  
***
17+ hrs  
Best
This stew is very popular in Provence, with several names and many minor variations (see Note-6). The name means "Beef in the manner of a lady from Gordes". This dish is best made a day ahead (or more, refrigerated) and warmed up slowly before serving. It is served with Macaronade pasta, not rice or bread, but I was unable to replenish my supply, so I broke up some Mezzanelli, a reasonable substitute.


4
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3
1
3
1-1/2
1/2
10
2
1/3
4
1/2
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3
3
1-1/2
2-1/2
10
10
1
#
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cl
#
oz
t
t


t
c
c
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T
T
c
T
oz
oz
t
Beef Chuck (1)  
-- Marinade
Garlic
Onions
Celery
Thyme, dry
Savory, dry (2)
Allspice berries
Bay Leaves
Pepper
Wine, dry red (3)
Wine Vinegar, red
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Oil
Brandy
Beef Broth (4)
Flour
Onions, tiny (5)
Carrots
Salt
Prep   -   (13+ hrs - 30 min work)
  1. Trim BEEF as needed and cut into cubes about 1-1/2 inch on a side.
  2. Crush GARLIC moderately. Slice ONIONS thick. Chop CELERY coarse.
  3. Mix all Marinade items and massage into beef. Package in a non-reactive bowl, or polyurethane bag. Stash in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Turn now and then.
  4. Peel TINY ONIONS. Scald them for one minute in rapidly boiling water, then chill in cold water. Cut just a little off the top end, peel back the dry layers and cut off. Cut as little as possible from the root end so the onion will remain intact with cooking.
  5. Peel CARROTS and cut into chunks about 3/4 inch long (see Note-7). Mix with peeled Onions, bag and refrigerate until needed.
Run   -   (4 hrs)
  1. Fish BEEF out of the marinade and drain well. Keep all the marinade.
  2. In a spacious sauté pan (see Note-7), heat Oil. Fry Beef until all exuded liquid has evaporated and beef is lightly browned on all sides.
  3. Pour Brandy over the Beef and light it off. Stand back, and use great care, it'll nearly explode.
  4. Pour Marinade over the Beef. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer slowly until Beef is reasonably tender. This could be as little as 1 hour or as much as 2, depending on size of cubes, toughness of cut and length of time in marinade. Don't simmer too long - beef chunks need to be firm enough to remove intact from the sauce. They'll get more cooking later. Make sure it does not run low on liquid - liquid should nearly cover the Beef, add wine or broth if needed.
  5. Fish Beef out of the pot and set aside, retaining all liquid.
  6. Strain the sauce, squeezing the solids so as to get as much flavorful liquid as possible. Discard the solids, and if there is excessive fat, defat the liquid using your gravy separator. Return liquid to the pan.
  7. Mix Flour with 1/3 cup of cold Beef Broth until there are no lumps. stir into the rest of the Beef Broth until well blended. Stir Broth into the Sauce until well blended.
  8. Return Beef to the pan and stir in Carrot mix. Bring to a slow simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Be careful the sauce doesn't get too thick. Add a little more broth if needed.
  9. Season to taste with Salt.
  10. Serve hot with Pasta. The traditional pasta for this is Macaronade, much like our small macaroni but much longer and gently curved. For details see our European Pasta and Noodles page.
NOTES:
  1. Beef Chuck Roast:   Chuck (Shoulder - any part) is good for this recipe, flavorful but not too tough. Weight is for boneless and trimmed of all excess fat and membranes.
  2. Savory:   If you don't have this, substitute some Marjoram or Oregano.
  3. Red Wine:   If possible, use a Burgundy type wine (Pinot Noir).
  4. Beef Broth:   I've usually made plenty of this by simmering the trimmings cut from the hunk of Beef I bought for this recipe.
  5. Tiny Onions:   Pearl onions are fine, but so small they're really a hassle (and they're expensive). I pick out the smallest ones from a bin of boiling onions at a local market - about 1 inch diameter is good.
  6. Variations:   One of the most common variations is to use about 5 ounces of unsmoked pork belly cut in small cubes for frying instead of the oil. Variations of the herbs and vegetables are common. If it is to be served cold a split calf foot is tossed in for the simmering stage so the sauce will gel.
  7. Method:   For a half recipe I use a 3-1/2 quart sauté pan, for a whole recipe a 5 quart. If you use a Dutch oven, deeper but less bottom area, you may have to fry in two batches. Some recipes are done on the stove top as given here. Others do the simmering stage in the oven, tightly sealed in a Dutch oven, 275°F/135°C for 4 hours.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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