I am a huge fan of Julia Childs, have been since I was a teenager. I remember watching her show on PBS from the time I was 12. I always wanted to be like her but alas it wasn’t in the cards. When the movie came out about the young lady that wrote an entire blog about her and going through her cookbook making every recipe, I was jealous. I wished that I had thought of it first. I saw the movie, it was good, it made me more jealous.
I am not going to start making every recipe from one of Julia’s books but I did make this amazing Beouf A La Bourguignonne as the french call it. It is the first time I have made it and I am sorry I didn’t try it sooner, not sure why. Maybe it’s because that’s what the girl made in the movie “Julia” for the food critique and somehow I’m still a little jealous. Cool story, my hubby Jeff made this dish in his senior foods class in high school and had to get permission to bring wine into the school. It was for his final and he aced it, said he impressed everyone. I’m not sure any of the guys in my senior class would have thought to do something so complex. Come to think about it, there were no guys in my foods class.
So here is the recipe, it’s important to do everything right but it’s not hard or too complex and man is it worth it.
Your gonna need:
3 lbs of good stew meat or a 3 lb chuck roast (I used a roast)
6 slices of organic bacon thick cut
1 lg. carrot sliced
1 onion cut in half and sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tb flour
3 cups of Burgandy or Chianti wine
2-3 cups of beef stock
1 Tb tomato paste
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf crumbled
1 lb button cremini mushrooms
Method: Preheat oven to 450′
If you have one of those great Le Cruesant casseroles you can do everything in it. If not then fry everything in a skillet then put it all into a casserole dish. Fry out the bacon until very crisp, set aside. In the bacon fat saute the onions and carrots until they start to become tender then remove from the pan and set aside. Remove the meat from its package and dry it with paper towels, if you skip this step the meat will not brown. Salt and pepper the meat, if you are using a roast, rub the salt into the meat and pepper it well. Now seer the meat on every side in the hot bacon fat. If you are using stew meat, after it is browned toss it with the flour coating all sides and place it uncovered in the preheated oven for 4 minutes, toss the meat and set it back in the oven for 4 minutes more. This will create a crispy coating and help to thicken the broth. Reduce the oven to 325′.
Put everything back in the casserole including the bacon, vegetables and any fat drippings. Add the herbs, garlic, tomato paste and additional 1 tsp salt. Do not add the mushrooms. Pour in the wine and enough beef broth to cover the roast or meat. Place the casserole dish in the oven and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check occassionally to make sure the broth is simmering not boiling as you do not want it to cook to fast. Adjust tempeture if you need to. The last 1/2 hour remove the casserole dish and add the mushrooms place back in the oven uncovered.
Serve this with mashed potatoes, rice or pilaf, crusty bread and a salad. It is fabulous!