After watching Julie and Julia, I had to know what was so amazing about this boeuf bourguignon. I started off by going to Whole Foods, at 4, I figured be home by 4:30 and cook for 2.5 hrs (like they stressed in the movie) and then dinner at 7 PM. Perfect! First of all, I didn’t get home until little after 5……..
Have you read Julia Child’s cookbook? No wonder Julie Powell hallucinated conversations with the woman while cooking alone in her kitchen, the way it is written is that you practically hear Julia Child speaking to you through the pages. As per her instructions, I first simmered the 6 oz chunk of bacon in 1.5 quarts of water for 10 minutes. She specifically says to cut them 1/4 inch thick and 1.5 inches long. While this was going on, I set the oven at 450 degrees. After drying it, I sauteed the bacon in oil to brown them.
It took forever forever to dry the beef in paper towels (“it will not brown if it is damp”). Using the oil from the bacon (mmmmmm), I browned the beef in about 4 batches. She specifically instructs to use a slotted spoon, clearly she hasn’t mastered the art of chopsticks! (harhar)
At this point it was closer to 6:30…. Ok this is not a book for the servantless American housewife. This is a book for a whole staff of servants! One to cube the beef, one to pat them dry with paper towels, one to brown them, one to sautee the mushrooms, one to brown the onions………
Once the beef is browned, you can add it to a huge “casserole” (or in my case, a dutch oven). In goes the sliced carrot and sliced onion (I actually had to turn on the movie and fast forward to the part where Julie Powell is making this dish to see how to slice the carrot and onion). Then in goes the 3 cups of Beaujolais wine (took me forever to find this bottle at Whole Foods cuz all the labels were in French…….I took Spanish in high school). And 3 cups of beef stock (can’t believe Julia Child had to wake up every morning and make stock that her various dishes would need. Today we can just buy it in a box!)
So I figured 2.5 hours to kill! I’ll get a ton of work done! But then I read about the next step and it refers me to 2 more recipes! One for brown-braised onions, which is 18-24 1-inch in diameter white onions in butter and oil. Then braised in beef stock for 50 minutes.
I was getting tired from all the cooking and hypoglycemia at this point that when I read the next recipe for sauteed mushrooms, I added the oil and butter and then dumped in 1 lb of sliced fresh mushrooms. Then read the part where it says to sautee them in batches for fried mushrooms, if you throw them all in at once (How did she know that I threw them all in at once?!?) then the mushrooms will come out steamed instead of fried. Oh well, anything in butter still tastes good. They even stressed this point in the movie! gah!
So the recipe says it can be served with boiled potatoes or egg noodles, but I’m asian, so it’s stick rice! I know all asians know to rinse rice grains until the water runs clear (or at least I hope they do). What is the secret to perfect Korean sticky rice? Soak the rice grains in water for a few hours. Then once the rice cooker is done, this is of absolute importance, mix the rice rapidly! And try to push as much towards the center as possible (anything left against the rice cooker will brown faster).
After 2.5 hours, dump the stew through a sieve over a sauce pot. Then pick out all the beef cubes and put them back into the dutch oven. Meanwhile, let the sauce thicken over medium heat. Took forever to pick out all the beef with chopsticks but oh well. Once you have all the beef, add the browned onions (which smelled divine) and the sauteed mushrooms.
Finally add the sauce over the meat and let it soak in the sauce which has thickened.
I got a little beef, onion and mushroom all on one spoon. it was DELICIOUS! No wonder Julia Child is the queen of French cooking. Something I wonder about is how do we really know Julie Powell made every dish in that cookbook? If you look at her Julie/Julia blog, she never has any pictures. It’s just her word….
This was so worth the wait! My significant other told me to FedEx his portion to him over night. Even though we spent Valentine’s day apart, I’m glad he sent me something for dessert cuz there’s no way I could’ve made dessert and eat dinner before midnight.