Friday, September 17, 2010

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

This is the best bourguignon ever. It is Julia's recipe after all. I tweaked it a little bit.....sorry Julia!.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees at this time. The recipe starts out by sauteing some panchetta or bacon. I used both. When it is crisp, remove it and leave the grease in the pot. Use about 8 strips of bacon.

A lot of your flavor begins here so leave the grease in the pot.

Slice about 4 onions.

I used fillet mignon which I had in the freezer but you really can used any type of beef roast for this. Cut the beef into slightly less than one inch cubes. It must be placed on paper towels and blotted dry or it will not brown correctly.

Slice about four carrots into coins and set aside with the onions.

Add a bit of olive oil to the pot along with the grease and begin browning the beef. It needs to be seared on each side until crusty. Don't crowd the pot or it will stew and not brown. It will take several batches before the beef is all browned. This takes a while but be patient, it is worth it! This should be done over medium high heat.

Remove the final batch of beef but leave all the good residue in the pot.

You should have a big bowl of nicely browned beef bits.

Add the onions to the residue in the pot and stir over medium high heat.

Throw the carrots in with them.

Keep tossing this mix around while scraping the bottom of the pan.

As the onions give off their juices the browned bits on the bottom of the pan will loosen and cover the carrots and onions.

Add the beef back to the pot.

Throw in the bacon or panchetta.

Mix this all together.

Add some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Sprinkle in about 5 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine. Place the pot in the oven for 5 minutes then stir the mix and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees.

While the beef is baking place several diced garlic cloves with a few anchovies and some course salt.

Mix this into a paste. Julia doesn't do this but believe me she would after tasting my bourguignon. Well, if she was still alive. You will never know there are anchovies in this dish. But, anchovies have an enzyme that brings out the taste of the beef to a whole different level. This paste actually makes the beef taste beefier.

Add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. You can see mine is frozen. I always freeze my leftover tomato paste and just cut pieces off as I need it.

Stir this all around. It's looking good already!

Here is the lineup of seasonings. You already saw the anchovy/garlic paste and the tomato paste but I also add several fresh bay leaves (always cut your bay leaves like a feather to release more flavor while they cook), Fresh chopped rosemary, a few tablespoons of dried thyme and that little box is a beef demi glace'. If you can't find it you can use beef bouillon but alter the amount of salt if you do.

Take a good bottle of red wine. I used a hearty burgundy. Always cook with good wine. If you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it. I think I might have just quoted Julia on that. Also add about 5 cups of beef stock.

Stir everything to combine.


Now place this in the 325 degree oven for about 3 hours and forget about it.

While the beef is cooking prepare some pearl onions. Cut small X's into the root end of each onion.

Boil them in salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain them and squeeze the root end until the onion pops out of it's skin.


Serve this with mashed potatoes, noodles or if you really want to be decadent, serve it over mac and cheese and then call 911.

***There is still time to enter this week's giveaway. The winner will be announced tomorrow and a really cool giveaway which I am putting together today will be posted at that time!