Tonight, I made my first recipe from Julia Child’s book The Art of French Cooking: Boeuf Bourguignon. This actually turned out better than the molten lava cakes I had made tonight. The cakes never oozed chocolate out of the middle when I cut into them. Kind of disappointing.
I decided that this was the first recipe I’d make from this cook book because we already had some beef stew meat in our freezer. I had almost all the ingredients besides the beef stock and onions. The wine was less than 5.00 at the liquor store. The only time I’ll drink wine is in a recipe. Otherwise, I won’t drink it at all. Pretty cheap meal to make too if beef stew meat is on sale. The only thing interesting about this meal is how long it takes to make and that I like mushrooms now! Yep, I have never really liked mushrooms until trying this recipe. How can mushrooms sauteed in butter and olive be bad? To me I think the best part of this recipe was the pearl onions. You start making them the same way as you do the mushrooms, although you let them simmer in beef stock for 40 – 50 minutes and add in some herbs. I could eat just the onions by themselves made this way.
Everything in this recipe that I made today was cooked in a lot of oil, butter, and bacon fat. How unhealthy is that?? Right now, it feels like I have gained an 5 extra pounds just looking at the pot of stew in my dutch oven. All the effort and time consumption put into this recipe is well worth it though. Your house smells amazing and it tastes fabulous.
For the Stew
6 ounces bacon, solid chunk
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine (a full bodied wine like Bordeaux or Burgundy or Chianti)
2-3 cups beef stock (Simple Beef stock is posted on the site, unsalted and defatted)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, mashed (you may choose to add more)
1 sprig thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dred thyme)
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
For the braised onions
18-24 white pearl onions, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup beef stock
& fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs parsley
For the Sauteed Mushrooms
1 lb mushroom, quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook bacon in boiling salted water 3 minutes, then drain.
Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Divide flour and beef between 2 (1-quart) sealable plastic bags, seal, then shake to coat meat.
Heat 1‚ tablespoons oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef well on all sides in 2 or 3 batches, without crowding, adding remaining ‚ tablespoon oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl.
Pour off any excess oil from pot, then add brandy to pot. Deglaze by boiling over high heat 1 minute, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then pour over beef.
Tie celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves together with kitchen string to make a bouquet garnish (tuck cloves into celery so they don’t fall out).
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in cleaned pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté bacon, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chopped onions, garlic, and carrots, then sauté, stirring, until onions are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, meat with juices, and bouquet garni and simmer gently, partially covered, until meat is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
While meat simmers, blanch boiling onions in boiling salted water 1 minute and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then peel.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saut
boiling onions, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water (1 1/2 cups if using pearl onions), then simmer, partially covered, until onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat remaining tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saut
mushrooms, stirring, until golden brown and any liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir onions and mushrooms into stew and cook 10 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and skim any fat from surface of stew. Season with salt and pepper.