Last night I made Boeuf Bourguignon, the dish made famous by the movie, Julie & Julia, the story of a young woman who cooks, and blogs her way through the Julia Childs book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
This is where I jump on the bandwagon, because, yes, Boeuf Bourguignon is without question, the most exquisite dish I have ever eaten, and, with it's five-hour preparation and cooking time, it bloody well should be!
What makes Boeuf Bourguignon unique, is that, it's nothing more than a French peasant dish, however, it's simple ingredients including onions, carrots, mushrooms, bacon, red wine, herbs, and beef, combined in just the right way, create intense rich flavors that are simply indescribable.
And, while Boeuf Bourguignon is considered difficult on the cooking scale, DON'T let this deter you!
As, coming from someone who, until a few months ago, had never really cooked anything other than spaghetti or grilled cheese sandwiches, I found, that it wasn't so much the fact, that the recipe was difficult, it was more that there were so many intricate steps involved, combining techniques, that any ordinary (me) cook would not have experienced before.
The ingredients are simple, each step is simple enough, although, I do have some tips for the absolute beginner, that will make your Boeuf Bourguignon experience, much more enjoyable.
1: Allow FIVE HOURS from start to finish. But, for three of those hours, the dish simmers and you can walk away.
2: Small white onions are also called PEARL ONIONS, and you can get them from most stores (1 bag is enough).
3: Make the Pearl Onions FIRST, using Julia Childs Brown Braised Onion recipe. Set them aside, covered.
* Peeling Pearl Onions: Peel most of the paper off and cook as suggested. Remaining paper will fall off after cooking! Unless you like the idea of hand peeling 18-24 small onions?
4: BEEF: Given that this really is the base of the dish...promise me, you won't buy minute steak or cheap grissly beef!!!!!
5: POTS: I used a Dutch Oven Pot, as it can be baked and, simmered over low heat, plus it looks really authentic.
6: Serve with small red potatoes brushed in a light rosemary butter, fresh crusty buttered French Breadstick, and a full bodied glass of red wine!
I truly suggest that in your lifetime, you experience making and devouring Boeuf Bourguignon, as it is, just truly delicious...and even better the next day!