Several weeks ago seven of us girls from MGCC got together for a movie night at Judy's place.
Since blogging and cooking is 'our thing' we decided to watch Julie and Julia, and we had a few good laughs as we saw ourselves through this movie.
I thought I'd like to try one of Julia Child's signature recipes; Beef Bourguignon.
This is no ordinary stew and I would not suggest it for your first attempt in cooking.
It was worth the time and effort!
The aroma was promising, the taste tester kept wanting to go back for more,
and the end result was perfection...robust flavor and fork tender stewing beef.
I did change the recipe up and modified the steps a little.
The photo does not do it justice, but I will be making this again and again!
-2 tbsp bacon fat ( I saved this from bacon I had fried earlier)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-2 pounds lean stewing beef -cut into 2" cubes
-1 thinly sliced carrot
-1 thinly sliced onion
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-2 tbsp flour
-1 1/2 cups red wine
-1 1/2 cups apple juice
-2-3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
-1 tbsp tomato paste
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-1/2 tsp thyme
-1 bay leaf
-18-24 small white onions, brown braised in stock-see recipe below
-1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered and sauteed in butter (optional)
Using paper towel dry off beef chucks. It will not brown if it is damp.
In a heavy fry pan heat bacon fat and oil until it almost starts to smoke. Saute beef chucks until nicely browned on all sides. The oil and juices of the meat should be quite dark. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and flour. Over medium heat toss to coat and stir until meat is crusted with flour (2-3 minutes) Remove and place in a heavy dutch oven or other heavy casserole dish.
In the same fat, brown the carrots and onions until they begin to caramelize. Place these on top of the beef.
Pour the wine, apple juice and 2 1/2 cups of beef stock over meat and vegetables. Add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic and tomato paste. Stir together and place in 325º oven. Regulate the heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2-4 hours.
While beef is cooking, prepare onions and mushrooms.
Step Three: Brown Braised Onions
Peel the small while onions.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of each butter and cooking oil over medium heat. When butter begins to bubble add the peeled onions. Saute for 10 minutes stirring often, being careful that you don't break the onions thin skins. When they are nice and brown add the remaining 1/2 cup beef stock, a sprig of parsley and 1/2 bay leaf to the pan. Cover and simmer slowly for 45 minutes, or until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and almost all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and discard herbs. Add the onions to the beef. Add the fresh baby carrots or carrot sticks. (the little onions, mushrooms and carrots should be added when the beef cooks its last hour)
Wash and quarter mushrooms. In the same pan you braised the onions in add 1 1/2 tbsp butter. When it begins to bubble add the mushrooms. Stir, scraping any brown pits that may have been left in the pan from the onions. Saute mushrooms until a dark golden brown. Add this to the beef.
*at this point if you find the juice is too thin for your liking, scoop out 1/2 cup of juice and whisk in 1 tbsp of flour until it is very smooth. Slowly stir that back into your beef and continue to cook.
Continue to cook the beef mixture for at least another hour. (I cooked mind for a total of 4 hours.
Serve Beef Bourginoun with boiled, riced or mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.
Make sure you have lots of crusty bread to mop up the gravy...it should not go to waste!
Garnish with a sprig of parsley, and add another vegetable on the side.
Beef Bourguignon can be made the day ahead and reheated. Bring to a simmer and slowly simmer until it is hot, basting occasionally for about 20 minutes.