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Beef Bourguignon Preparation for 100 People (in pics)

December 7, 2014

Thanks for checking this out.    

Have you ever seen food prepared for 100 people?  While using Julia Child’s recipe as a guide for Beef Bourguignon for 6 servings, I basically multiplied all ingredients times 16 to know how much to buy, then had to figure out how to fit it all into roasting pans…  I’m not talkin’ 9″ x 13″…   more like 24″ x 36″ and 8″ deep!!

I’m a member of an organization called The Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County (MPSMC). We have a clubhouse that can seat 200 for dinner, a full-sized and equipped bar, and a large professional kitchen.  There are no employees; it’s all volunteer.  I volunteered to prepare this dinner for an event to honor our veterans.  The MPSMC hosted the dinner for our members with their wives and guests.  All veterans, young and old (some from WWII) received free meals on this night…

The Menu:

Beef Bourguignon

Bullion Jasmine Rice

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Family Style Mediterranean Salad.  The salads were served family style at the tables with fresh sour dough and a bottle of red wine for each table.  Then the dinner was served buffet style.

Take a look at the process with this pictorial…    Can you guess how many pounds of beef was needed or how much wine was used in the sauce?

Here we go!!!

My wife and I shopped at Costco, Smart & Final, and Safeway to pick up all of this stuff…

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We cleared out the shelves at Costco of ALL of their stew meat (chuck), ALL of their chuck roasts, and still needed a few London broils…  45lbs of beef…   8lbs of bacon…   15lbs of onions, 12lbs mushrooms, 10lbs carrots, 18lbs of Brussels sprouts…  and six bottles of wine!!!  Plus 3 gallons of ice cream and 2 full sheet cakes for dessert…

So I decided that I had to split the stew into two huge equal batches. We have some huge old army surplus rectangle pans with lids, that together cover the entire 6-burner stove top…  you’ll see in a bit…

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The first thing to do is to cut all of the bacon into lardons (large bacon bits).  The top two piles are for the stew, the bottom one is for the Brussel sprouts.

 

 

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Then get them into pre-heated pans to render the fat and get ’em crispy (not burned).

20141125_133507Here’s the result…

Next, get all of the beef seared to a nice dark brown, with a bit of a crust, in that beautiful bacon fat.  Don’t crowd the pan or it’ll steam the meat instead of searing it…   It took 6 batches to get it all  done…

 

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While that’s happening, simply prepare all of your mise en plas (remember what that is?), and keep all of the cooked beef juices for the sauce!

 

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OK…  Bacon: Done    Beef: Done    Veggies: Ready…

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Time to start making the stew…  Start with sauteing the onions in olive oil until they’re translucent…  then add the carrots and a bit of minced garlic…   finally the mushrooms…   (a bit of salt helps the veggies offer up their moisture, and adds flavor…  add a bit of pepper too)  Keep the heat on for a while until the carrots are softened, but still solid.   Another tip for saute is to let the heat do the work… (apply heat) …stirring is needed but not constantly…  let it soak in the heat for a few minutes at a time before you stir it up…

Time to bring on the party!!  Let’s add some wine and do some braising!!  Woo Hoo!

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So this is what the stew looks like right before it goes into the oven for 3 hours at 350 degrees…   Each pan got its share of beef and bacon, 3 bottles of Merlot and a gallon of beef stock, a few bay leaves, some thyme and my favorite secret ingredient, some nutmeg…  Just put on the lid and set this 40 lbs baby into the oven to meld all of the flavors and braise the beef to the point where it just splits apart with a fork…  Yummmmm…

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Now it’s time for the rest of the meal prep…  Brussels sprouts and bullion rice…   The rice is really easy if you have a rice cooker…  to do a whole pot, I pour in jasmine rice up to about my second knuckle from my finger tip, then add chicken stock and water up where my finger connects to my hand.  In my case, 2 inches of rice to 3 inches of liquid.  Close the lid, hit the button, wait about 45 minutes and its done…  Add salt and pepper to taste, and for a little color, I pour in some frozen peas…   The 18 lbs of Brussels sprouts got a blanch bath (dropped into boiling water for about 3 minutes, then pull out, drain and set aside)  My sprouts were all a bit smaller than a quarter, but if you get bigger ones, you’ll need to cut ’em in half.  You just want them softened a bit, not cooked all the way…  In this pic, they’re getting their final heat in a pan with bacon fat and olive oil…   Again, let ’em sit a bit, I was looking for a little browning all over to add a roasted flavor…  Add the bacon bits, white wine, a bit of butter, let it reduce, and you’re good…

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Salad prepared for family style service…  A mix of romaine, baby kale, baby spinach, spring mix, tomato, cucumber, kalamata olive, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, with a touch of basil and garlic…   Mmm-mm-mm…

 

 

 

OK…  so we’ve applied the heat…    Ready to EAT??? !!!

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Here’s the finished product waiting to be served and devoured by all of the guests !

 

 

 

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Wish you coulda’ been there!!! See you for my next post !!!                 …Happy Heating…

3 Comments
  1. jestchat permalink

    I followed your recipe for Beef Bourguignon in the new dutch oven I got for Christmas and it rocked! I served it over steamed fingerling potatoes, because I didn’t want to lose a drop of the gravy and I don’t like rice.

    The dutch oven was fun to cook with, especially with all the “batch work” needed to make this dish.

    Looking forward to more ideas to try out on my end!

    Like

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