Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Barefoot Contessa's Filet of Beef Bourguignon

When I saw Ina Garten demonstrate a filet of beef bourguignon recipe on her Food Network television show I thought I needed to make it.  It looked simple, elegant and most of all, delicious.  I had friends coming for dinner and thought this was a dish they would enjoy.  I thought I'd make it, test kitchen style, and let you know how it came out.

Filet of Beef Bourguignon-A Special Dinner

Filet of Beef Bourguignon
My Filet of Beef Bourguignon

I broke the first rule of entertaining when I tried this recipe, don't try making something you have never made before for guests.  Last Saturday evening we were having dinner with our very good friends from college, Stu and Linda.  I wanted to make something easy, to be able to spend more time with them.  I also wanted the meal to be elegant because they are such special friends.  This dish fit the bill.

Let's look at how I did it.

Filet of Beef Bourguignon

adapted from, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Serves: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 (3-pound) filet of beef, trimmed
  • Filet of Beef Bourguignon
    The Filet of Beef Bourguignon Ingredients
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning plus one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 T good olive oil
  • 1/4 lb bacon, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups good dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 pound frozen pearl onions
  • 8 to 10 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick, sauteed

I bought a whole fillet of beef tenderloin.  It was 7-1/2 pounds, so it first needed to be trimmed, tied and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. I used five, 1-inch slices and froze the rest of the tenderloin for another time.  The only other preparation for the beef was to salt and pepper the fillets on both sides.  You can buy your filets already trimmed and tied if you prefer.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat.  Saute the beef until browned on the outside and very rare inside, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Set the filets aside on a platter.

Brown the Beef Bourguinon
Sauté the Beef in the Pan
Saut√© the bacon on medium-low heat in the same pan for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Set the bacon aside.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook it for about 30 seconds, until it releases its aroma.

Use the 1-1/2 cups of red wine to de-glaze the pan.  Cook it for about 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any tasty bits.  Add the beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it uncovered on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed. 

Strain the sauce and return it to the pan.  Add the onions and carrots.  Simmer the sauce and vegetables uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and the vegetables are tender.

Thicken the sauce by whisking in a paste of two tablespoons of butter mashed with two tablespoons of flour. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Finally, add the filet of beef slices, the mushrooms, and the bacon to the pan with the vegetables and sauce. Cover and gently reheat for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not over cook. Season, to taste, remove the ties from the beef, and serve immediately.

It was delicious!  The pictures don't do this meal justice.  It was night-time and the lighting was not optimal.   This beef bourguignon. was served with twice baked potatoes and oven roasted Brussels sprouts. We served a Red Zinfandel wine which complemented the dinner very nicely.

You should try this one!

The Barefoot Contessa's Filet Of Beef Bourguignon printable recipe can be found at the Food Network online.

You might also enjoy this Elegant Horseradish Encrusted Beef Tenderloin recipe.


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