Inspiration for Julia Childs Boeuf Bourguignon

Like many people I’m sure once I watched Julie & Julia I immediately went out and purchased a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, developed a girl crush on Julia Child and cooked my first Boeuf Bourguignon.  I fell instantly in love with the dish, I mean really it’s cooked with red wine!  Kidding aside it’s one of my favorites and now that we are heading into the cool fall weather I think a batch is in the new future.

Ingredients

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 cotes du rhone

2 to 3 cups brown beef stock

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 cloves mashed garlic

1/2 tsp. thyme

Crumbled bay leaf

18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in butter and bacon fat

1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter

Parsley sprigs

Directions

cut bacon into small pieces Simmer bacon for 10 minutes. 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.

The majority of this recipe is Copyright © 1961, 1983, 2001 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted by arrangement with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

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