Thursday, December 10, 2009

Julia Child's Beouf Bourguignon

Here's some more of Thanksgiving 2009 prep. Julie Child's Beouf Bourguignon. So Good! I followed the recipe, almost exactly. Per one of my guests dietary restrictions, I used beef bacon instead of pork bacon...a fine substitute.

Start with the beef. I bought two large roasts and cut them into smaller pieces and cut some of the fat off as I went.

Carrots and Onions.

After the beef has been browned, you add some flour. This will help thicken the sauce as the stew cooks.

Because I needed my pans for multiple dishes, I seared the meat in a large skillet, then poured the liquid in to deglaze the pan, then I poured the whole mess into a foil baking pan.

Ready to go in the oven. You can tell in this photo how "lite" the sauce is, having not thickened at all.

After several hours. The sauce changes colors, the red dissipates, and becomes a dark brown. The meat was super tender. Remove the meat and strain the sauce. Discard the veggies.

I made the Beouf on Monday night, so serve on Thursday. Here we go, all ready for the fridge. I waited to do the onions and mushrooms the day of. Once they were braised and sauted, I added them to the beef and sauce and placed in a warm oven for about an hour or so while we enjoyed the first few courses of dinner.

Beouf Bourguignon served with creamy mashed potatoes. Amazing. But so rich and I was already so full from the first three course, I didn't really enjoy it!!! I still hate mushrooms. But I DID cook with them. In the future, will probably serve this with buttered noodles or boiled potatoes.

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon:
  • 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
Remove rind from bacon, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1 comment:

The Kara said...

There's a French cafe around the corner from my office that offers this on the 'lunch' menu. I can't order it there... so much love in your dish, I can't imagine having it without that kind of loving intention behind it - such a special dish!