Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Want to try Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon? Here it is!

Boeuf Bourguignon from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One

For 6 people

A 6 ounce chunk of bacon: Remove the rind, and cut bacon into lardons (Sticks, one-fourth inch thick and one and one-half inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in one and one-half quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450°.

A 9-10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep

1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil

A slotted spoon: Saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you saute the beef.

3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2 inch cubes: Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Saute it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

1 sliced carrot

1 sliced onion: In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat.

1 tsp. Salt

One-fourth tsp. Pepper

2 Tb flour: Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

3 cups of a full bodied, young red wine

2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon

1 Tb tomato paste

2 cloves mashed garlic

One-half tsp. Thyme

A crumbled bay leaf

The blanched bacon rind: Stir in the wine, and enough stock to that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for two and one-half to three hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

18-24 small white onions, brown braised in stock: add one and one-half Tb butter and one and one-half Tb oil to skillet over moderate heat. Add onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Don't break the skin but roll them around to brown as evenly as possible. Then add one-half cup brown beef stock, salt and pepper to taste and a bouquet garni of 4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf and one-fourth tsp. Thyme tied in cheesecloth. Cover and simmer slowly for 40-50 minutes until onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and liquid has evaporated. Discard herb bouquet.

1 lb. Quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter: (Successfully sauteed mushrooms are lightly browned and exude none of their juice while they are being cooked; to achieve this the mushrooms must be dry, the butter very hot and the mushrooms must not be crowded in the pan.) Use 2 Tb butter and 1 Tb oil for half pound of mushrooms. Place skillet over high heat with butter and oil. As soon as you see the butter foam has begun to subside, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat and repeat with remaining mushrooms.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms as above. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about two and one-half cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock. Taste for seasoning. Pour sauce over the meat and vegetables. Cover casserole and simmer for 2-3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve with boiled potatoes, buttered noodles or rice, and decorate with parsley sprigs.