Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bon Appetit!

Continuing on the trend of this weeks topics...bingefest, cooking & movies, we we're recently inspired by a great little movie to make one last grande meal this past weekend.

Can you guess what it is? It's a movie that I know a bunch of you love & have seen. It was recently released on DVD so it made for good conversation over holiday meals.

Yup, it's Julie & Julia. I finally saw it last week and it definitely struck a chord with me. Blogging & Cooking? How could I not love it? :)

After watching the movie, J & I were inspired to cook up a storm since we had a few days off. Well, we decided to give the challenging, very time consuming, Boeuf Bourguingnon a shot. We figured, why not? Go big or go home, right? We had nothing to loose.

Well, I just have to tell you that the meal was a huge success! We loved it! It was seriously one of the best things we've ever eaten. The meat was so tender & flavored so perfectly. And the the pearl onions & mushrooms were to die for. I'm not going to pretend and tell you that it's easy to prepare or easy on your waistline but if you're looking for a cooking challenge where you'll be rewarded with an amazing meal, I highly recommend that you give this baby a shot. Bon chance! And Bon Appetit!

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon
One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white onions, small
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

  • Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long).
  • Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.
  • Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  • Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp.
  • Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking.
  • Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides.
  • Add it to the lardons.
  • In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables.
  • Pour out the excess fat.
  • Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly.
  • Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
  • Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
  • Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  • Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough 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.
  • Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  • While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
  • Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

  • Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat.
  • As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
  • Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

  • 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 lardons to it.
  • Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
  • Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, 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 stock.
  • Taste carefully for seasoning.

  • Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
  • Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.


SogniSorrisi said...

Thanks for this post. I've decided to try one or two recipes a month so I'm always on the look out for ideas.

Would like to see Julie & Julia at some point - another one on my list!

honey my heart said...

my stomach is grumbling as i read your post. it looks so yummy! hooray for a great meal.

Wifey Wiferson said...

I totally want to do this after seeing that movie!

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

I can't wait to see this movie!

A good friend and his wife got Julia's book for Christmas. They had us over this weekend for some scrumtious dish of which I know not the name. It was a roasted chicken that they whacked up with a cleaver, put ina pot with about a zillion pounds of butter, cream and mushrooms. They also had thses amazing pan fried new potatoes.

So. Good.

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh I love that movie, it's so sweet.

Oh can't I just come over and you cook it....I want to eat it but am hopeless in the kitchen.



@ Louise - that sounds amazing! J wants to go get the book to try out more. I'm gonna flip through to try to find that one so i can try it out :)

@Dustjacket - anytime, love! ur always invited :)

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

mmmm. That looks so yummy!!!! So funny b/c the BF bought me Julia's cookbooks for Christmas, and of course I want try the Beef Bourguignon recipe (being inspired by the movie of course!). Well done!