Jul 3, 2012

My Version of Langue de Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

Langue de boeuf à la bourguignonne? My head spins just by trying to pronounce it. It's basically the same thing as boeuf bourguignon or beef Burgundy in English. However, instead of beef chunks, I used beef tongue as main ingredient for this traditional French cuisine - something beefy stewed in red wine.

Ingredients (for a big pot)?

1 beef tongue
6 strips of smoked bacon
8 stalks of celery
3 to 4 carrot (or 2 big ones)
15 button mushroom
4 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 cans of unsalted chicken stock
1 can of beef stock (I couldn't get a hold of it so I used ragout fin instead)
1 big can of plum tomatoes (or 2 regular sized cans)
1 2/3 cup of fruity red wine
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
3 stalks of oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
3 tablespoons of flour
Some olive oil
Some sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper


Usually I would use beef stock for langue de boeuf à la Bourguignonne, but it seems like it's not a popular ingredient here in Taiwan so I used the already made "ragout fin."

Also for the herbs, my ideal choice would be fresh thyme but I was lucky enough already to see a box of fresh oregano in the supermarket. Usually you'll have to grow western herbs yourself in order to have easy access of these type of ingredients...I did have a pretty pot of fresh thyme growing in my balcony few months ago...sadly all devoured by caterpillars...

Yes, that's the true sight of beef tongue you've been eating all these years. Let it be the chunks from Mexican tacos or thinly sliced version from Japanese barbeque joints. They all come from this slightly pink looking blob of meat.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil then transfer the whole beef tongue in, cook for few minutes till the dirty bits come out. Drain from water. Take a small knife to scrape the surface of the tongue to remove any leftover brownish bits.

Cut into large chunks then set aside.

Dice the bacon and transfer to the big cast iron pot. Drizzle just a tiny bit of olive oil into the pot and bring to medium high heat. Cook till the bacon fat has been rendered and the texture hardened. Remove the bacon.

Sear the beef tongue in two to three batches. Remember to season with some salt and pepper. Cook till the sides turn slightly browned then transfer onto a plate for now.

Peel and cut the carrots into medium chunks, cut the onion and celery into similar sized chunks.

Toss them all into the pot and season with lots of salt and pepper. We have a big pot of food here so don't be afraid of over-seasoning. Cook till the sweet aroma comes out, about 3 minutes. Add the beef tongue back to the pot.

Pour in half of the chicken stock, beef stock/ragout fin, plum tomatoes, and red wine. Gently mix all the ingredients together. Evenly sprinkle dried thyme over the ingredients then add 2 bay leaves and some oregano into the pot.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the pot has brought to a boil, put on the lid and transfer to the oven. It took a total of 4 hours in the oven for the tongue to get fork-tender. Remember to check the pot after couple hours. If the mixture appears too dry, just pour in the other half of the chicken stock to prevent burning. You can also pour in more red wine if preferred.

Let's prepare the button mushrooms while the langue de boeuf à la Bourguignonne is still baking in the oven. Take a small pan, add in 1 tablespoon of butter and a little bit more olive oil if needed. Turn to medium high heat, toss in the mushroom and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Once done, transfer the mushroom to the pot and continue to let it stew for 15 more minutes.

Right before serving, mix 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 3 tablespoon of all purpose flour as our thickening agent. Drizzle to the pot and gently stir the sauce.

I served it over steamed white rice for my first meal and switched to penne pasta for my second meal. Personally speaking, I like it better with penne with extra hot drops all over.

If you have a big party coming over for dinner, this will be an idea dish to make ahand during the day for both the stew and the mushroom. Just keept it warm inside the oven and add in the mushroom shortly before dinner time!

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