Bourguignonne: meat becomes convivial – Italian Cuisine

Bourguignonne: meat becomes convivial


Set up a bourguignonne, to be enjoyed with the family or with a small group of friends, is the easiest way to make everyone happy, propose something original and … eliminate the effort. In fact, we did not use the verb "set up" at random: whoever decides for this formula must worry more about setting utensils and ingredients than cooking in the true sense of the word. The cooking of the bourguignonne will, in fact, be the task of the diners. While your commitment will be limited to the choice of raw materials and the preparation of sauces only. Of course, with the advice of Salt and pepper!

What is that
The bourguignonne is a type of Fondue or, better, of fondue, as all those preparations are called that they are cooked on the table, in a special container, placed on a small stove. Among many variations (meat or fish, with oil or Chinese broth, even chocolate desserts), bourguignonne is undoubtedly the most famous, of Swiss origin but very common in Piedmont, Val d'Aosta and neighboring France. The traditional version includes chunks of meat, to be skewered on special forks and dipped into a pot filled with very hot oil. In a few moments, the cubes brown to perfection and, once drained, are seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper and / or dipped in a sauce.

Which meat and which cooking
The classic meat for this dish is the beef, especially tender and lean cuts such as the fillet steak, the sirloin or it rump: rapid cooking, in fact, would not have time to tenderize more consistent parts, such as the pulp suitable for stews and the like. If the adult bovine is your choice, no one will have to worry if the inside of the morsels remains a little rare. The cooking to the "pink", slightly ahead of the rare one, is indicated for veal, beef, loin or fillet of pig. The preferred grade can be identified by removing the bite from the fork and cutting it in half: in case, you can plunge back into the oil for a few more moments.

What about poultry? Ni
We know that chicken and turkey they must always be consumed well cooked and therefore for this alone they would be less suitable for bourguignonne, in which it is difficult to guess the right cooking point. Not only that: the pieces of meat are grasped and put on the forks with your fingers and it is always inadvisable to touch the poultry meat, without then washing your hands immediately, due to the risk of contaminations from pathogenic germs, such as salmonella. The best thing, if you want to use them, would be to invite diners to help each other handle the raw meat with another fork, without touching it.

The right cut and quantities
The morsels should be small enough to cook in a minute or two. The ideal are dice of a couple of cm on each side, nevertheless, otherwise they burn quickly. You can ask the butcher to prepare them for you. Better still to buy the whole piece and cut it yourself, after eliminating any greasy parts, skins and nerves, just before going to the table. As a quantity, calculate at least 150-200 g per serving. Don't be afraid to abound: there will always be someone ready to finish the last bites left to cook!

The cooking fat
The best ispeanut oil, which holds up well the high temperatures to which it will be subjected for a long time. It should be poured into one quantity enough to get to about half of the pot: no more because otherwise, sizzling and bubbling, it could come out. It gets hot on the kitchen stove: the flame of the stove is not very powerful and it would take too long to reach the right temperature. Just before the oil starts to smoke, the pot is carefully brought to the table, placing it on its support.

The equipment
Bourguignonne pots can be of various materials: copper, steel, cast iron, enameled metal. The important thing is that they heat up, maintain and spread the heat well, because the flame on which they will be held is not very strong and the risk is that the oil inside does not reach or maintain the right temperature for cooking: the result would be “boiled” meat soaked in grease. For this reason, earthenware containers used for others are not suitable fondue more delicate, such as cheese or chocolate. Nor, much less, the stoves with the "tealights", the candles low that develop moderate heat. The right accessory, housed at the base of the support on which the pot is placed, has a metal burner, inside which is contained a spongy material, to be soaked with the appropriate liquid or alcohol or in which to house a tray of specific fuel (all these products can be found in the most well-stocked household items). The set is completed forks: with an insulating handle, made of wood or other materials that do not overheat, they are quite long, generally at two "hook" tips, to avoid that the meat, during cooking, shrinks from coming off. Often on the handle they show a different color for each fork: it is used by diners to identify their own when there are many in the pot. The sets provide for a maximum of 6 people: if there were more, it is better to put two on the table, so that everyone can easily reach their own and that there are not too many pieces cooking in the same pot at the same time.

The table
There are specials plates with compartments: a large one in which to put the raw meat, some small lateral ones for the sauces. Division is important because raw meat must not come into contact with any type of seasoning (salt or sauces) otherwise, by inserting it into the oil, it can produce dangerous hot splashes. If you don't have this type of dishes, serve the meat in individual cups, the sauces in bowls and arrange for each diner a saucer in which to deposit the cooked morsels. In addition to that, normal cutlery will be needed, knife and especially, fork, as we will see shortly.

The security
Having on the table, literally at hand, a fire, a red-hot pan and boiling oil invites you to caution. Let's start with the stove: you need to turn it on only a few moments before going to the table, so that it lasts as long as possible. The intensity of the fire it can be adjusted by turning the ring nut that lets in more or less air, fueling combustion. But if, during the meal, the flame becomes gradually less vigorous, it is necessary to remove the stove, close it with the special lid and make sure to suffocate and completely extinguish the fire before adding new fuel: spraying liquids or putting flammable materials on a flame is always very dangerous. As we told you, to avoid splashes of oil, there must be nothing on the meat: neither salt, nor sauces. Many use to add one to the pot right from the start half a raw potato, which would prevent the oil from overheating. Finally, it doesn't occur to you or your guests to bring the meat to their mouths directly from the fork of red-hot cooking: the bite is removed with the help of a normal fork, with which it is then passed into sauces and condiments.

The side dishes
Given the informality of the occasion, the most suitable side dish for bourguignonne is a pinzimonio, served in individual glasses: the vegetables can be dipped in the same sauces as the meat and refresh the palate. For the same purpose, you can serve bowls of green or mixed salad. Although together with the meat they are very greedy, the potatoes baked in the oven risk weighing down the menu. Rather serve them baked, or boiled, cooled, cut into pieces and seasoned with a little oil, a hint of mayonnaise or mustard and chives.

The right sauces
And so we come to the accompaniments. On the table there must be salt and pepper and you can use ready-made sauces such as Ketchup, barbecue, mustard creamy or rustic, worcester etc. Obviously the sauces home made they will give an extra touch to your bourguignonne! There mayonnaisein particular, it can be made at home and personalized in many ways. Here are some ideas referring to 100 g of "basic" mayonnaise: a tablespoon of minced gherkins and capers pickle; a teaspoon of horseradish fresh grated or in cream; a teaspoon of ketchup and a tablespoon of vodka; 50 ml of fresh cream or yogurt, a few pieces of chopped mustard and a pinch of chopped parsley and tarragon. Find many other ideas for a mayonnaise enriched in this post. Play to mix flavors and colors: this way, your bourguignonne's table will be even more inviting and beautiful to look at.

January 2022

This recipe has already been read 174 times!

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