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Bouef Bourgignon

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been cooking boeuf bourgignon for 30 odd years, and have never had problems with it. I could normally cook it with my eyes shut and always have a good dish, but the last few times I have cooked it, the meat has been very dry. The original recipe stated silverside as the cut to use, but I have made it with braising steak, stewing steak etc over the years all with the same good texture and flavour.

But the last three that I have made, with silverside, braising and now, stewing steak, all have been tender, but the meat dry. I am at a loss to explain it! I am not using any different ingredients, except the red wine this time, was quite tannic. Could this be the problem?


post #2 of 15


To stop the meat becoming dry you should always saute the meat in hot fat first, in small amounts to prevent it stewing before it browns. This seals in the juices, it would seem unlikly that you would suddenly forget to do this so could it be that you are seasoning the meat to early. You should season all meat with salt at the very last moment as it draws the juices. The other possibilite is that you meat is too lean, good beef [regardless of cut]should have some fat running through it, I would use stewing beef making sure to trim out all the nerve but not all the fat.
Best of luck steve
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Steve,

Yes, do all those steps, and yesterdays result was as good as usual- I can only think it was the cut of meat, admittedly bought pre packaged from Morrisons:suprise:- rather than my usual butcher, that had been wrongly labelled as 'braising steak'. I must admit that to me it looked too lean, and was more like frying steak.

Mystery solved anyway!
post #4 of 15
Browning does not seal in juices. It is a myth that has been debunked by Harold McGee and others. Browning adds lots of flavor, however.

Kitchen Myths

post #5 of 15
Hi Shel,

I hadn't seen the Kitchen Myths site before. Not bad, but he's totally wrong about stock vs broth.

post #6 of 15

kitchen myths

I am afraid just because peter aitken kitchen myths says it does not seal in the juices does not make it a fact. I shall stick with my 35 years experiance plus that of many thousands of other professional chefs who believe it does help to seal in flavour and juices.
Steve masterchefinfrance
post #7 of 15
I'm sorry, it's not Peter Aitkin who says it, it's Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking and other books on kitchen science, who uses science to make his points and prove or disprove myths.

Does searing meat really seal in moisture?

NPR : Demystifying the Science of Cooking

A lot of people just go ahead and repeat old wive's tales and folklore (about many subjects) because that's what they were taught. Believing something, as you say thousands of chefs do in this case, does not make it so. For hundreds of years people believed the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe. Flavor is created and enhanced by the Maillard reaction

post #8 of 15
I dont realy care who said it. Heather wanted some advise and I was happy to give her the benifit of my 35 years experience. Experience gained from working as a professional chef in professional kitchens at no point in my career have I ever relied on "old wives tales". As for believing the earth is flat, Sealing the juices by searing the meat is hardly as historicaly important.
Ps Did you miss my comment about seasoning meat, mystic kitchen myths says that is also false.
post #9 of 15
All right, all right-neutral corners, you two, and put down those handbags...

That said, I'm at a loss to explain how searing meat can "seal in the juices when "sealing" anything requires the creation of an impermeable surface. Since even seared meat can be seen to exude moisture, I'm a little stuck there. I'm by no means a professional chef, but I've got around 40 years of experience identifying stuff that doesn't make sense.:p
post #10 of 15
Searing the meat means exposure to high heat and we all know that the meat juices will migrate towards the center of the cut initially. While searing does not completely seal the outer surface, it does significantly reduce seepage of seared meat, hence why you let it rest before serving.

But nowadays the due to customer demands, the cuts of meat are getting leaner and leaner. So a recipe that calls for a certain cut of meat may turn out drier than expected.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #11 of 15
Are you casting aspesions on my manhood? :lol:

post #12 of 15
If it'll stop the catfight, yes.:smiles:
post #13 of 15
I'm not - nor have I been - interested in arguing. We each made our points and have moved on. At least I have.

Now, where's my purse <LOL>

post #14 of 15
And me.
post #15 of 15
I reckon when someone first came up with the term "seal" they just spelt it wrong and really meant to say "sear"...

Whatever the case - it makes it taste good :lips:

I'm thinking the only way to seal in juices in a piece of protein is to crumb it. I'm ready to stand corrected here...:)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

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