Beef Burgundy, or “Boeuf Bourguignon” in French, is a classic dish that has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts around the world. This rich and hearty stew, made famous by Julia Child, features tender beef braised in red wine and cognac, making it a comforting and flavorful delicacy. While many might think that the choice of wine and cognac doesn’t significantly impact the final product, connoisseurs of this dish know that the selection of these alcoholic ingredients can greatly affect the flavor profile of the dish.
Let’s explore how to choose the perfect wine and cognac for Beef Burgundy, especially when adapting the recipe for canning.
1. Red Wine: The Backbone of Flavor
The selection of red wine for your Beef Burgundy is a critical decision. The wine not only adds depth and complexity to the sauce but also contributes to the dish’s signature deep red color. When it comes to choosing the right wine, here are some key considerations:
Varietal: Opt for a dry, full-bodied red wine. Julia Child recommended using a Burgundy wine, such as Pinot Noir or a red wine from the Burgundy region. These wines are known for their earthy and fruity characteristics, which complement the dish perfectly. Alternatively, you can choose a good-quality Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, which will also work well.
Quality: Use a wine that you would enjoy drinking. While it’s not necessary to use an expensive bottle, don’t choose the cheapest option either. A mid-range wine can strike a balance between flavor and budget.
Avoid: Steer clear of sweet or overly fruity wines, as they can overpower the dish with sweetness and acidity. Also, avoid using cooking wine with added salt, as it can disrupt the seasoning.