Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Beautiful Bowl of Boeuf Bourguignon

Recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

What you need:

6 oz chunk of bacon (save rind for later)
9 to 10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep (I used my enamel coated Dutch Oven)
1 TBsp olive oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef (cut in 2 inch cubes)
1 carrot (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBsp all purpose flour
3 cups full-bodied red wine (Chianti)
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock
1 TBsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf (crumbled)
18 to 24 small white pearl onions (brown-braised in stock, recipe below)
1 lb fresh mushrooms (quartered sautéed in butter, recipe below)
Parsley springs
Egg Noodles (prepared according to package)

How to make it:

Boeuf Bourguignon 

Remove rind and cut bacon into 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inch long lardons.
Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water.
Drain and pat dry, set aside.
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Saute the bacon in the oil in the casserole dish 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 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, set aside.
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 the over for 4 minutes more, (this browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust).
Remove casserole, and tuen oven down to 325˚F.
Stir in the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind.
Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
Then cover the casserole and set in the lower third of the preheated oven.
Regulate the heat so the liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours, (the meat is done when a fork pierces it easily).
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms, set aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of 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 the fat off the sauce.
Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off the additional fat as it rises, (should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce think enough to coat a spoon lightly, if too thin boil it down rapidly.  If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock.
Taste carefully for seasoning.
Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
Serve over prepared egg noodles, garnish with parsley then ENJOY!

* For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, bastion gthe meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.  Serve in its casserole or spoon over some egg noodles.  Garnish with parsley sprigs.

** For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate.  About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.  Serve over egg noodles and garnish with parsley sprigs.

Onions -

What you need:

18 to 24 pearl onions
1 1/2 TBsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
9 to 10 inch enameled skillet
1/2 cup of brown stock, dry white wine, red wine, or water (I used red wine)
Salt and Pepper to taste
A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth

How to make it:

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown evenly as possible.
Be careful not to break their skins.
Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet.
Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and liquid has evaporated.
Remove herbs, set aside till recipe calls for them.

Mushrooms -

What you need:

a 10 inch enameled skillet
2 TBsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms (washed, well dried, quartered)
1 to 2 TBsp shallots (minced)
Salt and Pepper

How to make them:

Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil.
As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms.
Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes.
During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat.
In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will begin to brown.
As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.
Toss the shallots with the mushrooms.
Saute over moderate heat for 2 minutes.
Set aside to add to recipe.

* Mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed.  Season to taste just before serving.

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