Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meatball Bourguignon

               I had traveled to France with my parents many years ago.  I remember the many castles, the beautiful countrysides, and the food of course.  It was so good.  I especially loved the fresh breads. The tastiest thing that I remember was a simple French Baguette that was filled with just some vegetables and a spread.  I could have had that everyday and been happy.  I do remember not being able to find skim milk very easily though.  Milk is not something the French give to their kids too much apparently. 

               In our homeschool, we were starting to learn about France so we needed a dish to go along with it.  It also needed to be made by things I already had on hand.  I came across a Meatball Borguignon recipe on Epicurious.com.  I thought it sounded like a great way to use ground beef, or boeuf in a French inspired way.

               I didn't really change the recipe.  I used what red wine I had on hand.  I thought it came out great served with egg noodles. 

               It didn't take more than an hour to cook from start to finish.  It is something that you can prepare and just place in a slow cooker to really tenderize the meatballs for a few hours.  I presented it within 15 minutes of being done and the meatballs were pretty tender already. 

  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp dried parsley, or 2 Tbl fresh chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Bourguignon sauce
  • 1 Tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely
  • 4 Tbl flour
  • 2 cups beef stock or canned reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine like burgundy
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
First, combine the bread crumbs with the milk.  Let the breadcrumbs soften.  Then add the remaining ingredients for the meatballs and combine well.  Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.  You can now work on the sauce.

Saute the onions and carrots in 1 Tbl of oil.  Then add the butter and let it melt.  Add the flour and stir to make a roux.

Slowly add the beef stock while stirring.  Then add the wine, tomato paste, and spices.  Bring the sauce to a boil.  It should start to thicken.   Let the sauce cook on low heat.

Form your meatballs and place on a prepared baking dish.  Place them in a preheated oven of 375F for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked place them in the sauce along with whatever drippings they left.  Let this cook on low for at least 15 minutes.  You can place them in a slow cooker at this point or serve.  You can even prepare this a day ahead and reheat in a slow cooker.

I served it with egg noodles, but polenta would work too, as would mashed or roasted potatoes.

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