Happy, Happy Birthday Julia!!! It is her 100th birthday today!!! This is what we have been celebrating for 15 weeks now. What a fabulous adventure this has been for us. I have breathlessly awaited each recipe with anticipation!! Then researched, watched my Julia DVDs, chopped and sauteed, baked and cooked Julia’s wonderful recipes for all these weeks. An experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. An ode to a fabulous lady who thought outside the box and brought this side of the world out of frozen dinners and canned products. Back to where we should always be and that is cooking with fresh locally grown produce.
I would also like to thank Alfred A. Knopf Publishing for all their support and sharing of my photos. Not always the best as I am still learning. Also I would like to thank Colbern Uhl and YC Media for giving me this chance to share in something so fabulous. I am very grateful to have been chosen to participate.
Today’s recipe is one that I have done so many times, either Julia’s recipe or Ina Garten’s. It is a grand beef stew fit for a king or just our little family on a Tuesday night!! I watched Julia as I have tried to always do prior to making the recipe. She did a much simplified version than what the written recipe is. No bacon, no carrots or sliced onion. I improvised between these two recipes and made a fabulous Bourguignon. Thank you Julia from the bottom of my heart!!!
- 6 oz. of bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 lbs. lean stewing beef
- 2 sliced carrots
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 21/2-3 cups red wine, such as a Burgundy, Cotes du Rhone or Beaujolais
- 2-3 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- ½ tsp. thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb. pearl onions
- 1 lb. fresh mushroom caps, quartered
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- Parsley for garnish
- Saute the bacon in a large saute pan in the 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium low heat until it is lightly browned. Don't let it get crisp. Remove to a paper toweled lined dish.
- Dry the beef with paper towels. Bring the pan up to medium high and just before the oil is smoking add the beef in small batches and brown in the hot oil. Brown it on all sides. Remove to a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 325F.
- In the same pan brown the carrots and onions. Add them to the casserole dish along with the beef. Toss the meat and vegetables with the salt, pepper and flour. Mix the tomato paste with half cup of the wine so that it will easily mix in. Pour that onto the meat mixture followed by the rest of the wine, garlic and herbs. Top off the casserole now with beef broth and add in enough just to cover the beef. Add the bacon. Place in the oven and let simmer slowly for 2½-3 hours.
- While the stew is cooking prepare the mushrooms and onions. Take the onions and cut a small x into the bottom of each onion. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and place onions in for 20-30 seconds. Remove and rinse in cold water to cool. Cut the small root end off and carefully peel the onions. Set aside.
- For the mushrooms add the 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter to a large fry pan and heat on high. When the butter foam starts to subside add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 min. During this time the mushrooms will first absorb the fat and after a few minutes it will reappear. Cook until lightly browned and then remove from heat.
- When the meat is done, take it from the oven and skim off the fat and pour the contents through a sieve over a saucepan. You should have about 2½ cups of liquid, if you have more boil it down rapidly, if you have less add some beef broth. Bring the sauce up to a simmer. Mix the flour and butter together to form a paste. Remove the pan from the heat and add the paste whisking to incorporate. Return the pan to the heat and add the pearl onions. Cook for 15-20 or alternatively have the onions cooked in water for the same time. Stir occasionally until the sauce is thick. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Add the mushrooms to the meat mixture in a clean casserole if desired. Pour the onions and sauce over. Serve in individual bowls garnished with chopped parsley.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.