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Peter bought me the movie Julie & Julia so…of course ~ I had to make Boeuf Bourguignon, maybe that was his master plan! This recipe is an all day process so, I suggest making it some rainy weekend day. It was well worth the process! ~Bon appetit!
Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew)
Serves 6-8 people
A 6-ounce chunk of bacon: Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, ¼ inch thick and 1 ½ inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 ½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
A 9 to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep of 1 tablespoon olive oil.
A slotted spoon.
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.
3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes: Dry the 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.
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion: In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour: 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 down to 325 degrees.
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as one of those suggested for serving, Chianti
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
The blanched bacon rind: Stir in the wine, enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to a 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 ½ 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.
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
18 to 24 small white onions, browned-braised in stock: When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful nor to break their skins. You cannot except to brown them uniformly.
Then move onto braising the onions:
½ cup of brown stock, canned beef bouillon, dry white wine, red wine, or water
Salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, ½ bay leaf, and ¼ teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth: Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40-50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet. Set aside.
A 10-inch enameled skillet
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
½ pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large: Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will appear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat. Set aside.
When the meat 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 the sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. 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. Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, rice etc…
Peter’s Wine Pick: Cotes du Rhone