Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Evening With Julia

My husband bought me a copy of  Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child for Christmas and I was instantly wowed.  She is a legend and that book is a classic for a good reason:  The recipes are sheer perfection.

It snowed yesterday.  Great beef stew day, I thought.  But not any ol' beef stew.  How about Julia's Bourguignon?  The first recipe I decided to try of hers and it has to be the most difficult one!!

What a production!!!!!  But so worth it.

Step 1:  Blanch bacon to remove the smokiness. Drain.  Preheat the oven.
Step 2:  Dry beef cubes.  Saute bacon, leaving drippings in the "fireproof casserole".   (I used a Dutch oven.) Brown the beef in the drippings.  Remove beef.
Step 3:  Add sliced carrot and onion to pan; brown the veggies.
Step 4:  Return beef and bacon to the veg.  Sprinkle on salt, pepper and flour; bake for 8 minutes.
Step 5:  Add wine, beef stock, tomato paste, crushed garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer on the stove.  Reduce the oven temp and bake for 3 hours.
Step 6:  While stew bakes, trim and peel 24 pearl onions.  (That took a while!)  Skillet-braise in butter, oil, stock and herbs for 40 minutes.
Step 7:  Quarter up a pound of mushrooms.  Saute in oil and butter.
Putting the Boeuf Together
Step 8:  Stew's done!  Scoop out the solids and bring the gravy in the pan to a quick boil to reduce slightly.  Add the goodies back in and top with the onions and 'shrooms.  Serve with potatoes, noodles or rice and decorate with parsley.
Boeuf Bourgignone
Excellent last night--fall-apart-tender meat, silky vegetables and velvety sauce.  Absolutely unbelievable for lunch today.  The flavors melded and became more intense.  Served it with Rachael Ray's superlative Cheesy Rice Fritters and wilted spinach.  I made two changes to Rach's rice fritters recipe to boost the flavor and cut the fat.  What did I do?  You'll just have to wait for tomorrow's rice post, won't you?
Boeuf, Fritter & Spinach
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  1. i'm impressed that you made something from julia child. i saw julia and julia last year, and that pretty much put me off french cooking. it isn't really vegetarian-friendly either ;)

  2. Julia's vegetable dishes run the gamut from simple and rich (lots of butter and cheese or topped with garlicky crumbs) to simply steamed with a vinaigrette. With French bread, fruit crepes for dessert and bubbly, ooh la la! :)



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