Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon
|Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon||
The most amazing meal, by the most wonderful cook!
- 6 oz. chunk of bacon
- a 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
- 1 T olive oil or cooking oil
- a slotted spoon
- 3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 2 T flour
- 3 C of a full-bodied, young red wine, or a Chianti
- 2 to 3 C brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
- 1 T tomato paste
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- 1/2 t thyme
- a crumbled bay leaf
- the blanched bacon rind
- 18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock (see recipe)
- 1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms sautÃƒ©ed in butter (see recipe)
- Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks, 1/4″ thick and 1 1/2″ long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry. (Note: I didn’t have bacon with a rind, so skipped this step.)
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- SautÃƒ© 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 sautÃƒ© the beef.
- Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. SautÃƒ© 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 sautÃƒ©ing 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 beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in the 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 on the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of a 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 meat 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 C 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.)
- For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.
- For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minites, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
I served it with steamed potatoes and a French wine.