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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beef Bourguignon with Spaghetti Squash

I'm trying my first French meal today. Today's meal is a little more time consuming, making it perfect for a Sunday night dinner. You'll have to set aside a couple of hours if you want to make this taste right, but only about 30 minutes are actually spent cooking. The rest of the time is just waiting.

Here are the ingredients:


From Beef Bourguignon
Starting at the big yellow squash and going clockwise: spaghetti squash (2.04), salt, ground pepper, Red Wine (I used Trader Joe's 2 buck Chuck @ $2.99), Worcestershire sauce (0.05), Thyme (0.05), Parsnip (0.49), carrot (0.10), yellow onion (0.80), beef bouillon cube (0.10), 2 lbs of boneless pot roast (6.70), 5 strips of bacon (1.85), and 4 cloves of garlic (0.08) - The total cost of this meal is 15.25 and you can get 4 servings for a total of 3.81 per serving.

Disclaimer: Worcestershire sauce is not paleo. It contains soy and HFCS. 2 tbs are used in the marinade, but I cannot find a way to get that flavor without using the sauce. 2 tbs contain 2 grams of sugar, which I think is fairly minimal. Wheat free soy sauce may come close, but I have not tried it yet. The carrots and parsnips are another point of contention among paleos. I find the occasional carrot to be ok despite its sugar content.

Begin by making the marinade: 3/4 of a cup of wine, a pinch of salt, 2 tbs of Worcestershire sauce, and some ground pepper. Cut the meat into 2 inch cubes and mix it into the marinade. Cover it and leave it for at least 30 minutes, but an hour or more is better.


From Beef Bourguignon

From Beef Bourguignon

While the meat marinates, we can get started on some prep work for the rest of the meal. Chop up the onions, parsnip, carrot, and garlic.

From Beef Bourguignon

Begin boiling 2 cups of water and add the bouillon. If you have beef stock, you can skip this step.

From Beef Bourguignon

Begin frying up your bacon! Bacon excites me. Cut the bacon into smaller pieces before frying it. It will be used as a topping when the dish is complete.

From Beef Bourguignon

Once the bacon is really crispy, pull the bacon out with tongs and leave the bacon grease in the pan on a medium-high heat.

From Beef Bourguignon

Lay your marinated meat on a paper towel and lightly pat it down. You need to remove the excess moisture so that the bacon grease doesn't explode all over your arm. Now take your meat and place it in the pan. I use the center portion of the pan so I can get a really quick sear and lock in the flavors of the marinade. Get a good sear on at least 2 sides.

From Beef Bourguignon

From Beef Bourguignon

Eventually it will look like the picture above. It will take a few minutes, though, so while you're waiting, get the spaghetti squash ready by cutting it in half length ways and preheating the oven to 375.

From Beef Bourguignon

Scoop out the seeds and slimy middle portion.
Once they're clean, rub on some olive oil over the entire surface. Add salt and pepper to your taste, but you probably won't need much salt. The dish you're serving this with will be fairly salty on its own.

From Beef Bourguignon

Place the spaghetti squash face down so it can steam itself in the oven.

From Beef Bourguignon

By now, the meat should be about ready to pull out. Use the remaining juice in the pan to fry up your veggies. Add everything but the garlic.

From Beef Bourguignon

Once the veggies are a little brown, add the marinade from the beef, another 3/4 cup of red wine, 1 tsp of dried thyme, and the garlic.
From Beef Bourguignon

Once that is thoroughly mixed, add the beef.

From Beef Bourguignon
Cover the pan with foil. The meat is still a little tough, so letting it simmer for a while will help tenderize the meat. If you have the means to buy ribeye, you don't need to worry about the texture of the meat as much. I've been trying to keep paleo affordable, so I went with the cheaper cut of meat and the free ingredients time and patience.

From Beef Bourguignon

Wait for about an hour. The spaghetti squash and beef will take about this much time until they're ready. We watched a couple episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and had some seltzer water with lime.
After about 50 minutes to an hour, the squash will look wrinkled, indicating it is finished.

From Beef Bourguignon

You can now see the strands of "spaghetti" beginning to seperate. Scrape the squash perpendicular to the "spaghetti" to remove the strands.

From Beef Bourguignon

From Beef Bourguignon

From Beef Bourguignon
Remove the foil from the beef. At this point, you just need to check the beef for tenderness and the sauce for your preference of thickness. I was still stuffed from lunch, so I decided to wait so I could get the sauce to a near gravy-like thickness

From Beef Bourguignon
Serve it on top of the spaghetti squash so the squash can soak up the tasty juices. Sprinkle some of the bacon around, and here is what you'll end up with! (I cheated and dusted 1 tsp of parmesan on mine)

From Beef Bourguignon

In the future, I will probably add in mushrooms since I love to add mushrooms to everything. If you try this, please let me know what you think.
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5 comments:

ToddBS said...

Looks too good not to try. It's a particular dish of always been fearful of however.

I've tried scouring the web for a recipe to make my own Worcestershire sauce. I can't find a single one that doesn't have a bunch of sugar in it. Emeril has a good one that is at least gluten free, but nearly half of the liquid volume is corn syrup: http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/blcon84.htm

Paleotron said...

Sometimes you just can't replicate a flavor that isn't paleo no matter what you try. I think keeping it in moderation is ok. It's like avoiding second hand smoke. I don't go looking for it, but sometimes you just have to deal with it. I figured that the Worcestershire adds good flavor and with only 1/2 tbs per serving, that's only 1/2 a gram of HFCS in each plate. This dish definitely falls well within the 80/20 rule, which is a standard held by most paleos. I'll check out that link and maybe I can try making some with honey or something more natural in the future. Great info and awareness, Todd.

Meg said...

Oh man that looks soooo good.... hmm, this might also be cos i'm at the end of a fast.. :-)

Hehe, but seriously, will try it out this Sunday. Thanks!

Jeff Pickett said...

Nice job with the pics - very thorough depiction of how to fix this dish. May have a lot of steps, but looks like a great dish to try on a Sunday afternoon.

Paleotron said...

Thanks, Jeff. I like to be thorough because I only started cooking for myself about a year ago and always wanted someone to walk me through all steps of a recipe, including the menial ones. It also lets you know where I screwed things up in the past and want other people to learn from my mistakes. Let me know if you try it and if you do, try it with some mushrooms, I bet that would make it even better.

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