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Saturday, June 15

Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon

An early bourguignon effort, and one of my first postings on Oct. 14, 2010 to this dish blog. In honor of 14,000 views in a little over 2 years and 8 months of posting, I'm updating this formerly-photo-only dish with the full recipe!
Bacon, remove and reserve rind, cut bacon into sticks ¼-inch thick and 1 ½-inches long
6 ounces
1½ quarts
Olive oil
1 tablespoon +
1½ tablespoons +
2 tablespoon
Beef, lean stewing, dry with paper towels, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 pounds
Carrot, sliced
Onion, sliced
1 teaspoon +
Pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon +
2 tablespoons
Wine, red
3 cups +
½ cup
Beef stock
2 to 3 cups
Tomato paste
1 tablespoon
Garlic, mashed
2 cloves
Thyme, dried
½ teaspoon
Bay leaf, crumbled
Onions, pearl white, skins removed
18 to 24
1½ tablespoons +
4 tablespoons
Herb bouquet, tied in cheesecloth
4 parsley sprigs
½ bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
Mushrooms, well cleaned, quartered
1 pound
Parsley sprigs
  1. In 1½ quarts of water, simmer the rind and bacon for 10 minutes; drain and dry. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F; position rack in middle. 
  3. In an oven- and cooktop-safe 10-inch skillet that’s 3 inches deep, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over moderate heat, and sauté the bacon (not its rind) for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned lightly. 
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a side dish. 
  5. Heat remaining pan drippings until almost smoking before you sauté the beef. 
  6. Sauté the beef, a few pieces at a time, until nicely browned on all sides; set aside with bacon. 
  7. Add the carrot and onion, and brown. 
  8. Pour out the sautéing pan drippings, leaving the vegetables. 
  9. Return the bacon and beef to the pan, and toss with salt and pepper. 
  10. Sprinkle with the flour, and toss again to coat the beef lightly. 
  11. Set the pan in the oven for 4 minutes. 
  12. Remove to toss the beef, and then return to the oven for another 4 minutes. 
  13. Remove the pan, and reduce the oven to 325°F, and ensure there’s a rack in the lower third position.
    (Chef note: I ended up reduced to 300°F after 15 minutes.)
  14. Stir in 3 cups of wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. 
  15. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and bacon rind. 
  16. On your cooktop, bring to a simmer, and then cover. 
  17. Transfer to the oven; regulate the heat, as needed, so the liquid simmers very slowly for 2½ to 3 hours. 
  18. Meanwhile, add 1½ tablespoons of butter and oil to a skillet, and heat until bubbling. 
  19. Add the pearl onions, and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown evenly as possible. 
  20. Add the wine, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the herb bouquet. 
  21. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes, until the onions are tender but retain their shape, and the liquid have evaporated.
    (Chef note: Go low and slow; it took about 60 minutes.)
  22. Remove the herb bouquet; and set the onions aside. 
  23. Meaner-while another meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. 
  24. When you see the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. 
  25. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. 
  26. As soon as the mushroom have browned lightly, remove from heat; set aside. 
  27. When meat is tender, pour the pan contents through a sieve set over a saucepan. 
  28. Rinse out the pan, and return the beef and bacon to it. 
  29. Distribute the onions and mushrooms over the meat. 
  30. Skim any fat off the sauce; simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, skimming off additional fat as it rises.
  31. You should have about 2½ 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. 
  32. Adjust seasonings, if needed, and pour over the meat and vegetables. 
  33. Cover the pan, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. 
  34. Serve in its dish, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and garnish with parsley. 
Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck.

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