Friday, January 4, 2013

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

New Year's Eve called for a special dinner. We spent the evening together as a family, which although we have lots of family time, New Years Even hasn't been a family night in a long time. A super fancy dinner and an awesome chocolate cake seemed appropriate. I've been wanting to try some dishes lately. You know those big scary dishes? The ones that are like THE DISHES. You know coq au vin. Chocolate souffles. Beef bourguignon. Those dishes. The ones that really aren't that hard except that everyone in the world has heard of them and has preexisting expectations.

So anyway, I mentioned to my mom that beef bourguignon was on the list and she immediately suggested we give it a go. Here are my thoughts: It needed a bit of salt, but other than that I loved the flavor. We served the dish over really high quality noodles, but I think next time I'd do potatoes. The noodles just kind of got lost because they were so delicate and tender. I think stouter potatoes would have stood up to the flavors better. Finally, there are about a million steps in the recipe directions. But the steps weren't particularly difficult, it just takes some time and attention. I'd definitely make the dish again and I felt encouraged to take other big culinary challenges. I shared my pictures below, but don't have the energy to write out all of the directions. Fiance is leaving today and all I want to do is spend time with him. I've gotten used to having him around again and I dread the minute he's leaving. So I'm spending every minute I can with him, not typing out 45 steps. So I've listed the ingredients below and provided a link to online directions for the recipe. I hope that's sufficient.

Anyway, the lesson I take away from this experience is to challenge yourself and don't let your fears get in the way!

Beef Bourguignon

1 6 ounce piece chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1  onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full bodied
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1  bay leaf, crumbled
20 small white onions
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered

For step by step instructions, go here.

And for fun, the chocolate cake

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