Let's Revisit Boeuf Bourguignon
I should make this dish more often than I do. For sure I usually make it in February and in the past if Valentine's Day was on a weekend, I invited friends over and made it a feast with mashed potatoes, a good loaf of bread, French salted butter, and of course - - a chocolate dessert.
|Choose a dry red wine you also enjoy drinking.
Last week, I prepared it and ate a couple of meals with it, and stored the rest in the freezer. It freezes well.
As I mentioned last year in New Year Resolutions, Part III: Cook Like Julia, I follow Julia's recipe when it comes to the ingredients, but with the procedure I have found several shortcuts. Let's put it this way, Julia had an assistant to scrub pots. I have eliminated the many pots and have it down to one pot - my favorite old LeCreuset Dutch oven. Here's some tips to make Julia's recipe easier.
|All ingredients finally combined.
1.) I do not simmer the lardon (fatty bacon) in water - first. I skip the simmering in water and just fry the bacon as per the recipe. Keeping the fat in pan, set bacon aside on a plate. In fact, I just keep one large bowl to toss all of the finished ingredients in. This again is one of the "pot saver" suggestions.
2.) Instead of tossing in the flour while the meat is cooking, I lightly coat each piece of stew meat in flour before frying. It gives the meat a nice crust, while the excess flour still gives the stew the body it needs. I also season the meat before I flour it with the salt and pepper amount as per the recipe.
3.) I do not cook the meat in the oven, but cook it on the stove top in the Dutch oven. When the meat is browned (not necessary for the meat to be done inside), I set it aside with the bacon. Then add the sliced carrots and onions to the same pot. Cook until just slightly tender - not soft. Also set the carrots and sliced onions aside in the same bowl with the bacon and meat.
4.) In that same pot, add the butter and saute the mushrooms. Set mushrooms aside with the meat, bacon, and vegetables.
5.) One can peel a bunch of little onions, or used thawed frozen pearl onions. In the same pot, I saute them with a bit of butter, a sprinkling of salt and pepper until lightly caramelized. Yes, I even saute them when they are still a bit frozen.
6.) Julia suggests to crumble the bay leaf. I don't. I leave it whole and remove it before serving.
7.) Julia wants you to take the pot and clean it before combining all of the ingredients. Don't! Your pot is now seasoned. Just combine well all of the prepared ingredients, along with the remaining ingredients (Wine, tomato paste, stock, and herbs) and here you can do one of two things: complete the cooking by placing pot in oven and let it cook for a couple of hours in about a 225 degree oven; or let the pot and the ingredients cool down and refrigerate the day before serving, and finish cooking the day of serving in the slow oven.
|Ready for a long slow "stew" in the oven.
Usually I serve the lovely aromatic stewed beef over mashed or boiled potatoes, buttered egg noodles, or even rice. However, I found a new side, thanks to my friend, blog enthusiast, decorator, and former high school classmate Diane Clements Wicks. Check out her lifestyle blog Tumbleweed Tidings. She takes the best photos...
Let it be known, you can call this recipe either Beef Burgundy or in French, Boeuf Bourguignon. However, if you refer to it in the French version, then it's a must you say it in your best and highest Julia Child's voice. Bon appetit!