Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

ala Pioneerwoman! I am totally copy-ing her food blogging style. But don't panic. I am nursing a burned hand so I don't see myself venturing over to food blogging! Today is New Years eve! We are having good friends over for a movie night and good food. The movie (well one of them): Julie and Julia. The food: Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. Now for those of you who have no clue what Boeuf Bourguignon is, it's a incredible stew: beef in red wine. yum. yum. double yum.
So The books said it's better made the previous day so I started yesterday. Here's the step by photo instructions:

You will need:

  • 6 ounces bacon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti
  • 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • Crumbled bay leaf
  • Blanched bacon rind
  • 18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in stock
  • 1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter
  • Parsley sprigs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp.

Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. Can you hear the beef browning? Can you smell the delight? Your kids should be running to the kitchen by now.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper.

Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees. This is the part where you have to remember that the handles are oven hot. I didn't. ouwie. But drinking a bit wine did ease the pain! ; )

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed. Remember not to crowd the mushrooms. Otherwise they will not brown!

This is my version of brown-braised in stock. I just added my small white onions to the mushroom pan's butter and tossed them around a bit. Then I added stock and let them simmer in the stock for a few minutes. They are so small, i wanted mine a bit al dente.

Keeping it real: this part I didn't do: When the melt is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat > obviously I did do this.

didn't do: Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

For immediate serving: Covet the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

SO.... tonight we are having this incredible swoon dish with excellent boiled potatoes (name that movie) and veggies. Oh and after dinner we are having waffles and swap girly stories... (name that movie again)


Bonafyde said...

Wilna....this has me salivating...Mmmmmm. ENJOY!

Jan C. said...

We are watching "Julie and Julia" right this minute. When I first saw the movie a couple of months ago, I went right home and made her Boeuf Bourguinon. I hope you enjoyed every morsel of yours--we sopped up every last drop and ate every morsel.

Happy New Year!

Jan C. said...

Here's a picture of my Boeuf Bourguinon, just for fun:

Anonymous said...

"Excellent Boiled potatoes" Pride and Prejudice - probably my all time fave!!!

JenD said...


Chardee said...

Looks fabulous! LOL...When I read "excellent boiled potatoes" I even read it w/ the Pride & Prejudice accent. Thanks for the smile!

Lola said...

Bon appétit !

lola (Paris, France)

Anonymous said...

I'm furious that my visit is shown as Walvis Bay - I'm from swakop! Afrikaans, eh? Nice site! I'm making BB for my buds tomorrow and was a bit nervous about the onions. Thanks for your tip - and the beaut pix!