Kate's Cuisine

Nov 05 2011

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon


For the beef:

8 slices of bacon $2.40
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.06
3 pounds lean stewing beef $12.30
1 carrot, sliced $0.17
1 onion, sliced $0.47
1 teaspoon salt $0.01
1/4 teaspoon pepper $0.01
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.02
3 cups of full-bodied red wine $13.71
2 – 3 cups beef stock $1.50
1 tablespoon tomato paste $0.59
2 cloves mashed garlic $0.02
1/2 teaspoon thyme $0.40
1 bay leaf, crumbled $0.16

For the mushrooms:

2 tablespoons butter $0.12
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, cut in half if large $1.99

For the onions:

18 – 24 small pearl onions, peeled $4.99
1 1/2 tablespoons butter $0.09
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil $0.09
1/2 cup of red wine $2.28
1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs $0.50
1/2 bay leaf $0.08
1/4 teaspoon thyme $0.20
Salt $0.01
Pepper $0.01

Total Cost    $42.18

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Slice bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4″ thick and 1 1/2″ long.) In a Dutch oven, cook bacon for 6 – 8 minutes, until browned and crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pot and drain on paper towel. Reheat the fat in the pan until it is near smoking before adding beef.

3.) While bacon is cooking, rinse stewing beef and thoroughly pat dry. Make sure the beef is entirely dry, as it will not brown otherwise.  Add the beef to the hot fat in the skillet, in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, and sear until all sides are nicely browned, turning regularly. Remove from pan as batches are complete and set aside with bacon.

4.) To the hot oil in the pot, add sliced carrot and onion. Saute, until all vegetables are browned, stirring regularly. Pour out the sauteing fat.

5.) Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to lightly coat the beef. Place Dutch oven onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return it to the oven for 4 more minutes. (This browns the flour and gives the meat a nice crust.) Remove Dutch oven and turn oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

6.) Stir in the wine and enough beef stock so that the meat is just barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a boil over high heat on top of the stove. Then cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil or a lid and place in the lower portion of the preheated oven. Check on heat every so often, making sure that the liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You will know the meat is done when it tears apart easily with a fork.

7.) While the beef is cooking, prepare the mushrooms and onions, starting with the onions: In a separate skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When sizzling, add onions and saute for about 1o minutes, rolling onions around so that they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins; you cannot expect to brown all onions uniformly.

8.) Into the onions pour the red wine, season to taste, and add the herbs. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.

9.) While the onions are braising, prepare the mushrooms: In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat. Once the foam of the butter has begun to subside, add mushrooms. Toss and shake in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. While they saute, the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes, the fat will reappear on the surface and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.

10.) When they are finished, set both the onions and the mushrooms aside until you need them for the bourguignon.

11.) When the meat in the Dutch oven is tender, pour the contents into a sieve placed over  a saucepan. Give the Dutch oven a rinse, dry quickly and return beef and bacon to it. Place the mushrooms and the onions over the meat.

12.) Skim fat off the sauce in the saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or two over medium-high heat, skimming off more fat as it rises. You should end up with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce that is thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, add a bit more stock. Taste carefully for seasoning; pour the sauce over the vegetables.

(Recipe may be completed in advance up to this point and kept in fridge for up to a day.)

13.) To serve: Cover the Dutch oven and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and the vegetables with the sauce several times.

14.) Serve (in the Dutch oven or a separate dish) and enjoy!

Read my review of Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon here

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