One of my favorite lines ever delivered on the show the Gilmore Girls happened when the grandfather, Richard Gilmore, announces at dinner that neither soup nor salad is a meal, but rather a precursor or a finale. I have always wholeheartedly agreed with this theory, but lately I had been craving a stew made with red wine.
The actual recipe I used was called Quick Beef Bourguignon. I find it hard to believe there is a quick version for beef bourguignon. I did like the idea, so I went about fixing it with a few changes.
I first had to pick out a wine. True Beef Bourguignon is typically made with a red Burgundy wine, but I was looking for a cheaper alternative. I found out that Burgundy is made with Pinot Noir grapes in the Burgundy region of France, so Pinot Noir seemed like a good option. I found some other information that suggested a California or Oregon Pinot was a good substitute for Burgundy, although other sites suggested some Pinots may be too fruit forward. I ended up buying a Castle Rock Pinot from California.
I first varied from the recipe by patting my stew meat dry and dredging it with a little flour. After I removed the cooked meat from the pan, I noticed the recipe mentioned cooking the vegetables in the remaining liquid, which I did not have because of my earlier changes. I added a little more olive oil to the pan to compensate. One other change I made was using strips of onion instead of pearl onions. It seems like pearl onions are something I always see when I don’t need them, but couldn’t find today when I was actually looking for them. I also added peas, which I realize differs from any type of traditional beef bourguignon recipe. Not only did these sound good, but I thought the color would be nice.
I was a little skeptical about this quick recipe, but I will admit the end result was pretty good. The broth was rich and smooth, but I think the Pinot I picked did have too strong of a fruit flavor. Both my husband and I thought it needed quite a bit of pepper to make certain flavors pop. I am glad I added the peas because they gave it one strong taste that wasn’t overcome by the sauce.
Overall, it made for a decent supper, but I’m not sure if I’ll really keep the recipe close by. Maybe I wasn’t a big fan of the wine. Maybe my appetite wasn’t triggered because I didn’t get to smell it simmering for hours. More than likely, maybe I just agree too much with Richard Gilmore’s assessment to let this be a real supper contender.