Grand Cafe's beef bourguignon

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Nick Smith visits San Francisco's Grand Cafe for a yummy beef bourguignon dish from Chef Mauro Pando that you can try at home!

Recipe: Beef Bourguignon
From Grand Cafe's Chef Mauro Pando

Marinate overnight:

  • Boneless short ribs 4#
  • Carrot-large dice 2 ea.
  • Celery ribs- large dice 2 ea.
  • Yellow onion-large dice 2 ea.
  • Thyme sprigs 1/2 bunch
  • Garlic cloves-crushed 4 ea.
  • Bay leaves 10 ea.
  • Burgundy wine (Pinot Noir) 1 bottle


Cut short ribs into 3 oz. pieces and marinate overnight in the wine and all of these ingredients.


  • Olive oil 2 cups
  • Veal stock 3 qts.
  • Tomato paste ½ cup
  • Fennel seed- toasted and ground 1 tbl.
  • Kosher salt 2 tbl.
  • Black pepper 2 tsp.


Remove meat from the marinade and place on towels to dry. Strain the vegetables and herbs from the wine, and reduce the wine by 2/3rds. Sear the meat over medium high heat on all sides in a large enough pan to hold all the vegetables, stock and reduced wine. Do not over crowd the pan or you will steam the meat and not brown the meat. You will need to brown the meat in batches until it is all seared. Place the seared meat into a 6 qt. braising pan with lid. In the same pans that you seared the meat add the vegetables and all the ingredients besides the wine from the marinade, brown lightly, add the tomato paste, sauté for a few minutes to cook out the tomato, add the reduced wine, bring to a simmer, add the veal stock and bring to a simmer. Make a mixture of salt, pepper and fennel and dust the seared meat on all sides, add the braising liquid. Put back on the fire until it comes to a simmer, cover and place in a 225 degree oven for aprox. 1 ½ hours until done, skewering the meat will give little resistance.

Remove meat from the braising, lightly blend the braising liquid and then strain back over the meat. You can cool and refrigerate this for 1-3 days until ready to serve.

To Serve:

  • Baby round carrots-peeled cut in 1/2 16 ea.
  • Pearl onions-lightly roasted 16 ea.
  • Fingerling potatoes-sliced lengthwise 8 ea.
  • Button Mushrooms-quartered 16 ea.
  • Parsley- chopped 1 tbl.
  • Persillade: chopped parsley/chopped garlic/olive oil 1/2 cup


Prepare the vegetables: blanche and rub the skins off the carrots and cut in half, blanche the pearl onions and fingerling potatoes, sauté the button mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper. Add all the vegetables in a large sauté pan and sauté a few minutes , warm the B?uf Bourguignon in a separate pot, just before serving add together and place in separate plates or bowls with some juice. Sprinkle a persillade over each serving. Garnish with fried parsnip chips and parsley leaves.

For more information on Grand Cafe, visit

About Executive Chef Mauro Pando
While an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, Mauro Pando realized he was more stimulated by his part-time job as a cook than by his philosophy and psychology text books. "I had a sense of kinship with food and felt completely at home in the professional kitchen," he recalls. So he did what many sophomores yearn to do: he followed his passion, leaving the lecture halls for the stoves. "I decided to try doing what I love first, knowing that if I failed, I would then do what I had to do. Twenty five years later, I'm still doing what I love."

Pando, a native of Larchmont, New York, enrolled at San Francisco's California Culinary Academy, drawn to the city's cultural offerings and vibrant atmosphere. He became one of CCA's youngest graduates, earning his degree at age 21. Next came a series of local cooking stints followed by travel throughout Latin America, culminating in a long visit with his relatives in Argentina.

Upon returning to San Francisco, Pando was ready to pursue his calling at its most refined and challenging levels, and thus landed at the Lark Creek Inn, working the line under Bradley Ogden. There he received his first exposure to what he describes as "authentic cuisine where culinary history speaks through the food" - a theme that informs his cooking to this day. After rotating through most of the stations in the kitchen and getting a solid grounding in American Cuisine, he was ready for a position with more responsibility. He walked into Restaurant LuLu and asked Executive Chef Reed Heron for a sous chef position. He landed the job, seeing the restaurant through its first years, and ultimately taking over in his first post as executive chef. It was at Restaurant LuLu that he first developed his love for French cooking techniques and ingredients. Four years later, at Scala's Bistro, Pando He accepted the offer, giving the food his personal touch by working some beloved country French dishes into the regional Italian menu.

In 1997, Pando decided he wanted to raise his family in a city smaller than San Francisco, and as fate would have it, the newly-opened Red Star Tavern and Roast House in Portland, Oregon was looking for an Executive Chef. Pando took over the kitchen in early 1998. Over his eight years at Red Star, he cultivated a loyal following for his classic American dishes seasoned with equal parts nostalgia and creativity.

When the Grand Cafe was aiming to refresh its concept, Pando was approached for his thoughts and ideas. Brimming with enthusiasm for French Brasserie fare, he offered so many great suggestions, it was immediately evident he should be helming the stoves. Pando, who takes an academic approach to culinary history, hit the books, exhaustively researching all he could find (in French and English) on the history of the brasserie. His academic pursuits were followed by travel throughout France for further education and inspiration. A tireless educator as well as student, he takes the unusual approach of actively coaching his cooks at every station on the line, standing "elbow to elbow" with them to control each stage of the process, as his executive Sous Chef, Adam Carpenter, expedites. The result is a menu of classics that hum with the light touch of modernity, flawlessly executed and utterly delicious.

Grand Cafe Brasserie & Bar
501 Geary Street at Taylor Street
San Francisco, California 94102