Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

by - 6:41 AM

I actually borrowed the recipe from the show she did with Jacques Pepin, not the original one from the French Chef. There are quite a few steps but all are easy. I tweaked it a bit (when do I not?) to suit what I had available. Cut up a few bacon slices and fry them in a little olive oil in a large soup pot so you get crispy bits of lardons. Drain them and set aside. Depending on how much you like bacon fat, you can remove some now or just leave it all in the pan to sear cubed pieces of beef. I prefer to use chuck because they’re better for stewing but as my market only had eye round, that’s what I got. After searing (I had to do them in 3 batches to get good color) all the beef cubes I added them back to the pot along with any accumulated juices along with: Few sprigs of thyme 2 bay leaves 1 chopped onion 3 chopped carrots 2 chopped tomatoes 4 cloves garlic, crushed Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (Julia didn’t use this on the show but I like it) Salt and pepper I stirred everything to let the vegetables pick up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Then I poured in a can of low sodium beef stock , added back the bacon, and almost all of a half bottle of Dolcetto (not quite Bourguignon, I know, but the only Burgs I have are too good to be cooked). I reserved a few drops to add later when everything is finished. Unlike Julia, I didn’t bundle the vegs in cheese cloth. I didn’t have any, and I like chunky stews anyway. While the stew was cooking, I blanched and shocked a small bag of pearl onions and peeled them. You can cut little cross marks on the root end, but I didn’t bother and I still got onions that didn’t explode. Go figure. I put these onions in a small pan with a little water, a knob of butter, a pinch of salt and sugar and brought everything to a boil until the water evaporated and the onions picked up a little brown color. Then I added a few cleaned and quartered mushrooms - I didn’t have enough cremini so I mixed in some shiitake. To cook the mushrooms further, I borrowed a little stock from the stew and cooked the onions and mushrooms until they were soft. In a separate bowl I combined some softened butter and a few tablespoons of flour. I mashed the two together until I got a nice paste, then again borrowed some stock and made a slightly thinner paste. This all went into the simmering stew and everything thickened nicely. The total cooking time was 3 hours but it varies depending on the cut. When the meat was tender and fell apart with a spoon, I shut off the heat and stirred in rest of the wine. Here it is with everything assembled. I served it with a delicious soufleed cheddar mashed potato. The recipe follows. https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4128/5034127725_d084e2fb87_b.jpg

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