Create a Romantic Dinner for Valentine’s Day

Stay at home and create a very special Valentine’s Day this year. Grab a couple of bottles of Cultivar Wine – like our 2018 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon or the 2019 North Coast “Gold Label” Cabernet and try making a romantic dinner at home featuring Beef Bourguignon with your partner.

a woman and man’s hand each holding a wine glass filled with red wine raised in a toast over two white with black-edged round plates filled beef bourguignon atop mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts on a green tablecloth.

Beef Bourguignon, or Boeuf Bourguignon, was first popularized by Julia Child. It’s a beef stew with braised onions and sautéed mushrooms in a dark red wine sauce. Unlike Julia Child’s traditional recipe, with a couple of ingredient substitutions, you can easily elevate the dish without sacrificing any flavor and even sit down to eat in about an hour. The other plus of this Beef Bourguignon recipe? You only use a 1/2 cup of wine instead of an entire bottle. 

two bottles of Cultivar Wine, 2018 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon and 2019 North Coast “Gold Label” Cabernet Sauvignon, next to two knife blocks filled with a variety of Wusthof, Global, and Shen steak and kitchen knives, a granite molcajete filled with green apples and avocados.

The key to this Beef Bourguignon meal is the cut of beef you choose. The traditional recipe calls for Chuck Roast, which requires a long braising time before it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. This recipe starts with a tender cut of beef, like beef tenderloin, top sirloin, or strip steak. If you don’t have one of these cuts, this recipe won’t work.

Kitchen Prep for Your Romantic Dinner

A romantic dinner at home calls for a stress-free experience, so you’ll want to do the following before you start cooking:

  1. Open your bottles of Cultivar Wine Cabernet Sauvignon to breathe.
  2. Read through the recipe in its entirety.
  3. Grab any pots, pans, and anything else the recipe calls for.
  4. Assemble all of your ingredients.
  5. Pour yourself a glass of wine and have some.
  6. Prepare and measure out all of your ingredients.
  7. Re-read the recipe in its entirety.
  8. Have some more wine.

Equipment

Brussels sprouts halved tossed with olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and Kosher salt on a Silpat baking mat in a sheet pan.

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

A man’s hand holding a spatula spreading out cut pieces of beef tenderloin in a copper core Allclad 3-quart sauce pan.

 

Sliced crimini mushrooms with a Global chef’s knife on a Shun bamboo cutting board, a black ceramic dish with minced garlic, and a light blue ceramic dish with thyme with cooked diced bacon in a copper core Allclad 3-quart saucepan on a gas stovetop.

Instructions (total time: 60 minutes)

NOTE: These instructions assume that two people will be cooking together. If you’re making this meal by yourself, don’t start cooking your bacon and red wine sauce, until you’ve pulled your potatoes from the heat.

You’ll spend about 15 minutes preparing to cook and then about 35 minutes making Beef Bourguignon and your side dishes–olive oil mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts or carrots. Don’t get scared off by 24 steps. We wanted to highlight anything that might get missed or forgotten in more generalized steps. For example, if you don’t mix flour with cold water you can end up with lumps in your sauce.

  1. Take your beef out of the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.
  2. If you haven’t prepared your ingredients, do so now. Quarter your potatoes. Halve your Brussels sprouts (or carrots). Mince your garlic. Slice your mushrooms. Dice your bacon. And chop your thyme. Depending on your knife skills and those of your partner’s, your mise en place could take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef base with 1/2 cup warm water and set aside.
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon flour with 1 Tablespoon cold water.
  5. (Brussels Sprouts or carrots) Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat.
  6. (Brussels Sprouts or carrots) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. (Potatoes) Put your potatoes into a medium-to-large pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer sounds, check with a fork to see if tender.
  8. (Brussels sprouts or carrots) Coat your halved Brussels sprouts with 2 Tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Put in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes.
  9. Pat your beef dry with paper towels and cut into 1″ cubes. If you go to sear your beef and it’s wet, you’ll steam your meat, potentially overcooking it. Season with 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt and a pinch of pepper.
  10. Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter or bacon grease until melted or re-liquefied.
  11. Add your beef and sear 2 minutes, turning with tongs to brown on all sides. Take care not to overcook; your meat will become dry and tough. Transfer seared beef to a plate.
  12. (Brussels sprouts or carrots) After your Brussels sprouts have been in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, stir them so that they brown evenly.
  13. Add your diced bacon to your 3-quart saucepan and cook, stirring frequently.
  14. When you can smell the bacon, about a minute, add your sliced mushrooms, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  15. (Potatoes) When your potatoes are tender (a fork should slide in easily), remove from heat and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain your potatoes in a colander and then return to the pot, covering with a lid to keep warm.
  16. (Brussels sprouts or carrots) When your Brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 20 to 25 minutes total, remove them from the oven.
  17. Add minced garlic, tomato paste, and thyme to your pan and stir.
  18. Add wine and increase heat. Boil for 1 minute.
  19. Add pearl onions or shallots and broth to the pan and bring back to a boil.
  20. Slowly add flour paste to the pan and cook for a minute.
  21. Return the beef to the pan and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the beef, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
  22. Lower heat to low heat and keep warm until plating.
  23. (Potatoes) Finish your potatoes by adding 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup cooking water. Mash to desired consistency, adding more cooking water for a looser consistency.
  24. Plate mashed potatoes in the center of two plates. Top with beef and place the Brussels sprouts alongside. Serve immediately.

a red spatula raised above rare-to-medium-rare pieces of beef, shallots, and mushrooms in a dark red wine sauce in a copper core Allclad 3-quart saucepan on a gas stovetop.

dining table set with a green tablecloth, flowers in a  vase, a bottle of 2018 Cultivar Wine Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, two glasses of wine, and two white with black-edged round plates filled beef bourguignon atop mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts on a green tablecloth.

Food-Themed Movie Recommendations

Once you have your meal ready, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a movie. The perfect movie for this meal is of course one featuring wine, food, or both!

Two glasses of Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon with a vase of flowers help make for a romantic dinner for Valentines Day

Here are some of our favorites–a mix of romances, dramas, and comedies:

vase of flowers, bottle of 2019 Cultivar Wine North Coast “Gold Label”  Cabernet Sauvignon and two wine glasses filled with red wine sitting on a coffee table with Chocolat playing on a 40” flat screen tv on a wood and metal sofa table in the background.

Eden Hemsley Silverstein fell in love with cooking in the third grade and has been bringing people together ever since to share meals. You can follow her on Instagram @RoadToGoodLife, Facebook @TheRoadToTheGoodLife, and her blog, The Road to the Good Life. Learn more about her through her bio on LinkedIn.