This is my very first--and perhaps last--food blog. Even though I've come a long way since my jello (sorry Krispin) and rice-a-roni days, I would much rather grow, can or dry food than cook it. But inspired by Julie and Julia and cheered on by my family, I decided to tackle Child's famous boeuf bourguignon. I mean, how difficult can a beef stew be to make?
It can be quite difficult, I discovered. And messy. And expensive. And time consuming . . .
But I did it, and the end result was enormously satisfying--not to mention delicious!
I won't post the recipe, since it can be easily googled, but I will mention the highlights of my culinary experience.
There weren't that many ingredients: bacon, beef (I used rump roast), carrots, mushrooms, garlic, onions, spices, tomato paste, beef stock, butter (of course!) and lots of red wine. I followed Julia's directions closely, but skipped a few steps which made no sense to me. Like boiling the bacon for 10 minutes before frying it. The most painstaking (and painful) part of the process was peeling the tiny white onions. I shed a few tears as they shed their skins.
Unlike a stew, the ingredients were not all schlepped together and left to simmer for hours on end. The pearl onions (sauteed and then braised) and mushrooms (sauteed) were prepared separately and set aside. The rump roast, cut into 1" cubes, was first browned in bacon fat and then tossed with flour and seared in a very hot oven. This created a wonderfully crisp coating on the beef which elevated it far above lowly stew meat.
Once the beef was encrusted, the liquids and spices were added and the aromatic concoction baked in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. When the meat was tender, the sauce was poured through a strainer, thickened a bit. I arranged the pearl onions and mushrooms around the meat and veggies in the casserole, then ladled the sauce over all.
We served the boeuf bourguignon over egg noodles and garnished it with fresh tarragon.
We'd fully intended to send leftovers home to my son-in-law, Nich, who had to work while the rest of the family enjoyed my culinary coup.
But, alas, we ate every last drop . . .