I’m Not Julia Child, But Who Is?

In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child writes, “As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good bouef bourguigon.” I’ve never actually cooked any of Julia’s famous recipes nor do I own any of her famous cookbooks (though Christmas is coming up *wink*wink*) but I absolutely appreciate her approach.You see, there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to cook necessarily–many good dishes come out of different styles. If following a recipe exactly isn’t for you (and trust me, it’s not for me) then think of each recipe as more as a guideline. The changes you make, the ingredients you add or remove, the ideas you glean, these all make the dish your own by putting your very own personal stamp on it. (And for those of you who think you’re hopeless cooks, following the recipe step-by-step does NOT make you a bad cook. Some follow rules, others like to break them.)

Beef Burgundy (or bouef bourguigon to Julia) is a rich dish of wine soaked beef, carrots, onions, noodles, carrots. Part stew, part pasta, it is an excellent cure for the winter blahs or to warm cold bones. It makes enough for a feast to feed a large crew or to freeze portions for later.

Beef Burgundy
–6 pieces of bacon
–1/2 cup flour
–salt & pepper

–1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
–1/2 small onion, diced
–garlic, minced
–2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
–3 dry cups assorted sliced mushrooms
–bottle dry red wine
–1 heaping spoonful of tomato paste
–14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
–1 small bag of frozen peeled pearl onions
–egg noodles
–beef broth

Cook the bacon strips in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. I use scissors to cut mine up into smaller pieces before sautéing. Once the bacon is mostly cooked (crisp but not too crisp), use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan, leaving as much of the bacon grease/drippings in the pan as possible.

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dry the beef with a paper towel and then toss in the flour to coat. You want the beef nice and dry so it will sear beautifully. Working in batches, sauté beef in the bacon grease until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot, saute the onion and garlic for a minute or so until it is fragrant. Add the sliced carrots and saute a minute before adding the mushrooms. Saute until both are tender but not soggy. Add the meat back in to the pot. Dump in the bottle of wine, add some tomato paste, the diced tomatoes, and the spices. Cover and simmer for one hour, stirring only occasionally.

After one hour, add the pearl onions and egg noodles. Pour in enough beef broth to cover the noodles and stir all to combine. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 more minutes. Remove the cover and, if necessary, boil to the consistency of sauce you desire (though the noodles should soak up most of the added broth). Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Dammit Jim, I’m a cook, not a doctor…
Time: 2 hours
Serves: 6
Estimated Calories: 780 per serving

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One Comment

  1. Micah D.L.
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    The first time I tried bouef bourguigon was actually IN PARIS and it was total shit. Such an epic disappointment, I've been wanting to make it on my own ever since. I'm stoked you posted this recipe!!

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