I hope no one is going to be frightened by the steps in this super long recipe. The end result is truly worth it and is one of the tastiest recipes I've had in a long time. I had a lot of fun channeling my inner Julia Child making this recipe. Mark kept saying "boeuf bourguignon" in a Julia high voice, in anticipation to eat. We served our delicious stew with buttered egg noodles. We happened to have a fresh bag of tagliatelle in the cupboard. I had planned on having potatoes with this, but in the end I had forgotten all about them, so noodles it was!
This would be a very beautiful meal for Valentines day if you have the time to make this. You can also make it ahead of time, and serve it the next day. The flavors would be extraordinary the next day. This recipe is a little pricey also, so it should be reserved for a special occasion! (It may not be so expensive somewhere else, but in Nova Scotia, it costs $3.99 for a small bag of pearl onions. Crazy!)
Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon:
6 oz bacon, cut into strips
1 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs good stewing beef
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
3 cups red wine (I used a pinot noir from France)
2-3 cups beef stock or bouillon
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
Simmer bacon in 2 cups of water for 5-8 minutes. Drain and Dry.
Preheat oven at 450F.
Saute bacon in oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Set bacon aside in a casserole dish.
Heat up bacon fat in the pan until almost smoking.
Dry off the pieces of meat with paper towel and brown in batches. Add the brown pieces of meat to the bacon.
Brown the onions and carrots in the remaining fat.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Coat the meat with the flour.
Put the casserole with the meat in the oven for 4 minutes. Stir and put in the oven for 4 minutes more. This creates a crust on the meat.
Lower the heat to 325F.
Once you have taken out the meat from the oven, add to the vegetables.
Stir in the wine, enough stock to cover the meat, tomato paste, crushed garlic, herbs.
Bring to a simmer.
Pour back into the casserole dish you used and bake slowly for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
(If you have a big enough enameled cast iron pan, you can cook it and bake it in the same dish. I didn't think mine would hold everything, so I cooked it in the big casserole dish.)
Brown braised onions:
18-24 peeled pearl onions
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup beef stock or red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
an herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf & sprig thyme.)
I didn't have any fresh herbs, so I added 1 bay leaf and 1/4 tsp thyme
Bring the butter and oil to a bubbling simmer.
Add onions and saute for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Stir them around without breaking the skins.
Add the stock and the herbs.
Bring to a simmer, cover and keep simmering for 40-50 minutes.
Remove bay leaf once it is done.
1 tbsp oil (you will probably need extra fat)
1 lb mushrooms (I only had 1/2 lb)
Clean mushrooms well.
Cut any large mushrooms into quarters or halves, leave the small ones whole.
Heat oil and butter in a frying pan.
When the butter foam begins to subside, the fat is hot enough to start adding mushrooms.
Cook the mushrooms in batches, so they brown not steam.
Set the mushrooms aside once they are done.
-I forgot to take pictures of the mushrooms-
To assemble the stew:
Sieve the liquid into a saucepan.
Skim any fat off the sauce and bring it to a simmer. If sauce is too thick, add extra stock. ( I had some onion braising liquid, so I added that instead) If it is too thin, cook it down.
*Julia says to wash out the casserole you baked the stew in and then add the meat and vegetables back in it. I just used my enameled cast iron that I had braised the onions in instead of washing a hot pan. I also removed the bits of mushy carrot and onions from the meat*
Stir the onions and mushrooms and meat together.
Pour sauce over and simmer this for a few minutes before serving.
Like I had said earlier, I served this with noodles, but you can serve it with any starch.
Sprinkle with parsley if you have any.
Until next time,