Monday, January 4, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon ala Julia Child

Considering that I love to cook, it might be somewhat shocking that I had never seen the movie Julie and Julia- that is until the beginning of this break. When I got home, we ordered it on On Demand and I fell absolutely in love with it. Not only because of its culinary content, but also because of my love for Meryl Streep and the adorable relationships between the characters. The day I spent making our Christmas dinner party menu, my mom even bought me the movie as an early christmas present so we could watch it while we were cooking. A few days before Christmas, my mom and I went to her friend Sandra's house to drop off some baked goods, and she was actually making Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. After seeing the movie, I was left with the impression that the dish was impossibly difficult and time consuming. But Sandra said it was manageable and that she would copy the recipe for me. Making the dish became my goal for the break-I was determined. And then I was even more excited when I opened up my presents Christmas morning and among them was THE cookbook. A couple days after Christmas I went out of town so I couldn't make it for awhile, but today I finally got around to make it. It was time consuming but also relaxing and somewhat therapeutic. I've been a little sick the past couple of days so it gave me something to do while trapped in my house.

So dragging myself out of the house, I first went to Marshalls and used Christmas money to pick up my first Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish in a beautiful blue- I was probably far too excited about a pot than someone my age should be but oh well. The best thing about it is that it can go from stove to oven and then is pretty enough to go straight to the table as a serving dish, which is important in a small kitchen with hardly any storage and where you have to hand wash all of your dishes.

Then, I went to Harry's Farmer's Market and picked up what I needed, including locally raised, grass fed beef. If you read my about me, I know what you must be thinking- you don't eat beef, right? Well... I have recently decided that I am going to try meat again for a little while but limiting myself to only organic, local, and grass fed. I made this decision for two main reasons- health and so that I can cook with more variety and actually eat it.

**Hey again, so just updated this recipe to ensure that it is gluten and dairy free. It required only very minor changes so I do not think Julia would be too upset. Enjoy! (12/12/10)

Ok, enough explanation. Here is the recipe:

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

A 6-ounce chunk of bacon (including rind)
1 tablespoon olive
oil or cooking oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2 inch cubes (rump p
ot roast or chuck pot roast)
1 large sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
3 cups red wine
2-3 cups brown beef stock
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
*18- 24 brown-braised onions (recipe follows)
* 1 lb mushrooms sauteed in butter (recipe follows)

First, remove rind from bacon (put it to the side) and cut the chunk of bacon into lardons, or sticks 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long. Simmer the bacon and the rind in 1 1/2 quarts of water for 10 minutes, then drain and dry.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In the cast iron dish, saute the bacon in the oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to brown it slightly then remove into a side dish with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the dish. Now, dry the beef in paper towels so that it can brown properly and saute it a few pieces at a time in the hot oil and bacon grease until all sides are browned. Add the browned beef to the side dish with the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Take off of the heat. If a good amount of grease remains, pour it out and then return the beef and bacon to the casserole dish with the browned vegetables. Toss with salt and pepper, sprinkle on the flour, and toss again. Set the dish uncovered in the middle position in the oven for 4 minutes then take out, toss the meat and return to oven for 4 more minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.

Add the wine to the dish then enough of the beef stock to just barely cover the meat. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole dish and set in the lower third of the oven. Leave in for 2 1/2-3 hours and the meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms:

Oignons Glaces A Brun
18-24 peeled white onions (about 1 inch in diameter)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup brown beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth with kitchen twine

When the butter and the oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions occasionally so that they brown as evenly as possible. Then, pour in the stock, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes until onions are tender and liquid is evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions in a side dish.

Champignons Sautes au Beurre
2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 lb fresh button mushrooms, stems removed and halved
2 tablespoons minced shallots

Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and the oil. When the foaming of the butter subsides, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake in the pan for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Toss in the shallots and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the mushrooms and shallots to the side dish with the brown-braised onions. Set this side dish aside until you are ready to add these vegetables to the stew.

Back to the stew... when the beef is tender, pour the contents of the casserole dish into a sieve set over a sauce pan, so that he meat and vegetables are separated from the stock. Wash out the dish then return the meat and vegetables to it. Distribute the sauteed mushrooms and brown-braised onions over the meat.

Place the sauce pan with the drained stock over the stove, skim the fat off of the top, and simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes, removing fat as it arises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. I too thin, boil it down rapidly, and if too thick, add more stock. Taste carefully for seasoning and when ready pour a little of the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Cover the casserole and simmer for 2-3 minutes basting with the rest of the sauce a little at a time. Serve from dish with potatoes as a side dish. May i suggest Ina Garten's Dill Fingerling potatoes?...

Dill Fingerling Potatoes
1 1/4 lb fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan then add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss well. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes shaking and tossing occasionally until potatoes are tender when tested with a small knife. Take off of the heat and let them steam with the cover on for 5 minutes. Then toss with the dill and serve.

To finish off the meal, all I did was serve some leftover green bean bundles with the stew and potatoes and it seemed to be a hit! A long day in the kitchen, but nothing in itself was too challenging so I enjoyed it.

1 comment:

  1. Le Creuset? Allez-Vous fille!
    I too made boeuf bourguignon after seeing the movie Julie and Julia, twice! It was better the second time when I used red burgundy.
    Your Le Creuset is really pretty :D