It was the star of “Julie & Julia.” OK, maybe Meryl Streep was. But that movie left moviegoers with one thing on their minds: boeuf bourguignon. The hearty beef stew is a centerpiece of one of the movie’s more appetizing food scenes.
It makes an appearance in the new foodie movie, “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” as well. In the scene, the movie’s young hero serves the French classic to his Indian father, who is duly impressed with his son’s culinary gifts.
If you would like to try this at home, here is Julia Child’s original recipe, lightly adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and complete with her comments:
Boeuf a la Bourguignonne
[Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms]
As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately, you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated.
Vegetable and wine suggestions: Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Bordeaux-St. Émilion or Burgundy.
For 6 people.
Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardoons (sticks, ¼-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 ½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- A 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
- A slotted spoon
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 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 sauté the beef.
- 3 pounds lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté 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 vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of pre-heated 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, such as one of those suggested for serving, or a Chianti
- 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- A crumbled bay leaf
- The blanched bacon rind
Stir in the wine and enough stock or bouillon so 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 pre-heated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
- 18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible, without breaking apart. Pour in the stock, season to taste, add the herbs, and cover. Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove the herbs and set the onions aside.
For the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet. As soon as the foam begins to subside add the mushrooms and toss and shake the pan for about five minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat. Set the mushrooms 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.
[amazon-product]0375413405[/amazon-product]Skim the fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ 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 or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. (Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.)
For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice and decorated with parsley.
For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
From knopfdoubleday.com and www.RecipeZaar.com.