Monday, August 17, 2009

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon!

"Boeuf Bourguignon." Just hearing the name of this dish lets you know that it's something special. Not just special either....It's like sitting on death row and you can only have one more meal special! Seriously....if I could only have one more meal, this might just be it. Julia herself described this dish as "certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man..."

Boeuf Bourguignon is basically beef that has been slowly cooked in red wine, with bacon, onions and mushrooms. I've heard so much about this dish lately. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Julie Powell made it in the new movie Julie & Julia. This was also the very first dish that Julia Child prepared on The French Chef! It's such a classically French meal. The beautifully complex flavors...especially of the sauce!...really makes this dish amazing.

One of the best things about this meal is the fact that you can make it ahead of time and re-heat it just before your dinner guests arrive. If you make this, authentic French baguettes are a necessity. Why, to sop up all of that divine sauce, of course! It's also traditionally served with potatoes or noodles, so I served it alongside Ina Garten's Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

As I recently posted, I made this dish in honor of Julia Child's birthday...Saturday would have been her 97th birthday. I got really ambitious and made this Boeuf Bourguignon, her recipe for Pain Francaise (French baguettes!), and her Reine De Saba cake for dessert. I'll post all about the wonderfully scrumptious bread in my next post, followed by the yummy Reine De Saba cake.

All chopped up and ready to go...I used a Rump Roast, as suggested by Julia...
Nice and seared...remember to dry the meat, or you won't get a good sear!...
Sauteing the vegetables...carrots and onions:
Before adding the sauce back to the pot:

To make this ambitious menu a little easier to pull off, and to avoid any pre-mature graying of my hair, I made the Reine De Saba the night before. I also put together the bread dough the night before and put it in the fridge for it's first (and longest) rising. It rose perfectly overnight. These preparations really made it a lot easier. Otherwise, I would have been up at 4AM mixing and kneading the dough in order to have it on the table in time.

The Bouef Bourguignon turned out better than I could have imagined. The meat was incredibly tender and just melted in our mouths. It really is worth the extra effort to saute and brown the mushrooms and pearl onions before adding them to the stew. The taste is phenomenal! Just be sure to use a red wine that you would drink...don't use cooking wine!

Plus, it's not often that everyone at the table...and I mean everyone...goes back for seconds. We all had to have second helpings of this tasty meal.

The entire dinner was so perfectly French...from the great the red the French music lightly playing in the background, it truly was a nice evening. I think Julia would have been proud. ;)

I found PDF versions for Boeuf Bourguignon over at the Knopf/Doubleday website. Because Julia always includes so many wonderful tips and tricks throughout her recipes, I am going to provide links to these PDFs, instead of simply writing a condensed version here.

Simply click on the titles below for the recipes:

Bon Appetit!!!


Anonymous said...

OH YUM! Oniony goodness!!

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous! I would love to try and make this. I just finished reading My Life in France (loved it!) and am planning to see Julie & Julia this week.

Anonymous said...

That looks so good!!!

Joelen said...

This looks wonderflu Celeste! After watching Julie & Julia, I've been craving Boeuf Bourguignon and I hope to make this soon!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Celeste! My first time visiting your site and I love it! I'm making Julia's boeuf bourguignon for the first time this weekend in my new le creuset pot! Thanks for the inspiring post and recipes.