Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homage to Julia Child - Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon, Well Mostly

I am not big on Beef, but I may be a convert now. I think Julia was right when stating this is just about the best beef dish ever!!! It is a little labor intensive... But "trust me", your efforts will be GREATLY rewarded. It's Classically French, Classically Delicious and just plain Classically AWESOME!

Before we begin, I need to warn you that this is gonna be a loooooong post... There are 44 pictures alone, because there are 3 steps, and I left out the browned butter step cause I have posted about it before. I did most of my prep work first, but I am going to present this in the time frame that Julia did because her work flow IS actually better than mine was. I was interrupted by some questionable mushrooms, so I had to make a mad dash to the grocery store (This was part of what spurred me to do go ahead and do ALL the prep ahead of time).

I changed 3 ingredients, well actually 4 but one of them is in the next paragraph. I used a Leek instead of an onion, and I used Browned Butter to do the sautéing of the Pearl Onions (which were brown onions instead of white) and the Mushrooms.

I also skipped 2 different steps... I did not have Lardons, so I skipped the boiling phase, simply using Bacon instead. I also didn't strain the sauce after it came out of the oven. I wanted it to be more stew like so I left it as is when it came out of the oven. Trust me, it didn't need to be reduced or have any fat skimmed off and it was still phenomenal.

There are 3 recipes to this, I will present them as they come up instead of combining everything together. Incidentally, this would be an AWESOME way to prepare not only Bison, but Elk as well.
OK, I am going to stop yammering and get this goin' cause it's gonna take awhile.

Boeuf Bourguignon
Beef Burgundy

1 10-inch pot that is at least 3 inches deep (either the old pyroceram Corningware or an enameled Cast Iron Casserole - Cause you have to cook on the stove and in the oven)
6 oz Bacon
1 TB Olive Oil
3 LB lean Stewing Beef (I used an untrimmed loin Tri-tip roast)
1 Carrot, Sliced
1 Leek Sliced (recipe calls for an onion)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 TB Flour
3 cups full bodied Red Wine such as Burgundy, Chianti (I used an '05 Barbera from Witch Creek Winery)
2-3 cups Beef Stock (I only needed 2)
1 TB Tomato Paste
2 cloves of Garlic; crushed
1 sprig Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 Sprig of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 recipe Brown-Braised Onions (recipe follows)
1 recipe Butter Sautéed Mushrooms (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
The Roast..... and it was a TOTAL Bargain!!!

I started with almost 4 lbs because it was untrimmed, and I needed 3 lbs for the recipe - I DID cut about 14.7 oz of fat off the roast.

Trim fat from the Beef roast.

If your using a loin cut, remove any silver skin as well.

Slice into 2 inch chunks.

Pat all pieces of Beef dry with paper towels. (It's true, dry meat browns better)

Slice the Leek and Carrot

Place casserole over medium high heat and add olive oil.

Slice the Bacon into 1/4 inch matchsticks while the casserole is heating up.

Sauté Bacon in oil until browned and the Bacon fat is rendered out.

Remove with a slotted spoon, to a plate.

Begin searing the dried Beef chunks in several batches, you don't want to crowd the pan or they won't brown as nicely.

Once they are browned on all sides, remove to the plate with the Bacon.

Add the sliced Vegetables and sauté until browned.

Remove them from the pot, and set aside as well.

Pour out any remaining fat and add the Beef and Bacon back to the pot.

Sprinkle with Flour and toss to coat.

Place in the oven, on the top rack, uncovered, for 4 minutes; toss again and bake 4 minutes more, to brown the Flour (it will smell nutty)

Place pot back on the stove top over medium heat and add the vegetables.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, then add the wine to the pot.

Then pour in just enough beef stock to barely cover the meat.

Add Tomato Paste, Garlic, Herbs, Salt and Pepper.

Bring to a simmer and place in the lower rack of the oven, covered, for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.


Meanwhile.......Your going to need about 6 TB of browned butter for these next two recipes.
So simply melt 8 TB unsalted butter in a sauce pan skimming the foam until the proteins brown slightly.... Then strain through cheese cloth.

For complete instructions please check out "Butter May Be Better, But Browned Butter is Best".


Brown-Braised Pearl Onions
Oignons Glacés á Brun

18-24 pearl onions (white is preferred, but I was lucky to even find these)
1 1/2 TB Browned Butter (Beurre Noisette)
1 1/2 TB Olive Oil
1/2 cup Beef Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 sprigs Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
2 sprigs of Thyme

Don't let the idea of peeling these little Onions freak you out.

Send them skinny-dipping in boiling water for a minute or two.

Scoop them out and into an ice bath.

Slice off the root end.

Apply pressure to the top and voile! - They should pop right out of their skins

(5 minutes tops; I swear)...

Heat a Browned Butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the pearls and sauté for about 10 minutes until somewhat uniformly brown.

Add Beef stock and season with Salt and pepper; add the Herbs, cover and reduce heat to medium-low; over and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until the onions are tender but still hold their shape.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

While the onions are simmering.......

Mushrooms Sautéed in Browned Butter
Champignons Sautés au Beurre Noisette

1 LB Fresh Mushrooms (I used Cremini; AKA Baby Bella, Italian Brown)
4 TB Browned Butter (Beurre Noisette)
1 1/2 TB Minced Shallot
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare the Mushrooms...

If they are small, leave them whole... Medium, slice in half... Mine were pretty big so I quartered them.

These take about 4 batches to sauté properly, don't over crowd the pan, or they will not brown and will give up their liquid, steaming themselves and not actually sautéing.

For each batch, place 1 TB Browned Butter and 1/2 TB Olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat.
Add 1/4 of the Mushrooms and sauté until browned lightly. (They will get shiny at first, but they will brown after that)

Remove each batch and set aside until all 4 batches are sautéed.
Then add ALL the Mushrooms back to the pan along with the Shallot and Salt and Pepper, tossing for about 1 minute.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Bringing the whole Sha-bang together.....

The Pearl Onions should be completed, the Mushrooms should be completed, so now is the time to take about a 30 minute nap before the Bourguignon is finished in the oven... LOL

When the meat is tender, after about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, remove the casserole from the oven. (Sorry the picture came out SO unbelievably bad)

I simply added the Peal Onions.

And The Mushrooms...

And serve with Italian Parsley for color and hunks of Sourdough to soak up the gravy-esque goodness.

I didn't really have a lot of fat floating so I didn't do this part, but Julia recommends that you.....
Pour off the wine/stock from the casserole to a small sauce pan and skim the fat off the top.
Add the Mushrooms and Pearl onions to the Beef/Vegetables.
Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, skimming any additional fat as it rises, to reduce to about 2 1/2 cups.
Pour sauce over Beef and Vegetables.
Bring the whole thing back to a simmer for 2-3 minutes while occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the gravy-esque goodness.
Then Serve.

To reheat left overs (Like there will actually BE any leftovers)
About 15 - 20 minutes before serving, cover and bring to a slow simmer (I assume over medium-low heat) and simmer for 10 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables occasionally.

Mangia!! I know I sure did.... ;)
~~

9 comments:

matt74 said...

Awesome Shane,can't wait to do some short ribs!

DDpie said...

Oh it looks so unbelievably good! I can smell it from here!

Michele said...

This looks soo good and comforting! This is the perfect time of year for this!

So, how do you take pictures with one hand? I can't do it, I'm too shaky! Or did someone take the pics for you?

Danielle said...

i cant wait to make this!! I've been dying to ever since I saw the movie! Looks fantastic and they way you described it all, its a lot easier than I thought it would be. WOOO HOO. Looks awesome.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Matt - Thank you :)

DD - Awesome... I had that new Smell-o-Vision widget installed specifically for this recipe... ;)

Michele - Thanks, Yes, It was a most excellent comfort food dish. It's a little difficult doing it with 1 hand... I have an anti-shake setting on my camera... Still takes about 5 shots each time to get a good one... :)

Danielle - It was surprisingly easy, just a lot of steps, which made it take along time.

Anonymous said...

This dish was and is an excellent comfort dish. I enjoyed every second of eating it.I am a good friend of Shane's and he invited me over for dinner.Lucky me!!!

Culinary Alchemist said...

Ken? Is that you? HA HA HA I am glad you liked it!!!

Patti T. said...

This is one of the first dishes I ever made cooking with wine. I really should make it again some time soon, it is an excellent fall meal. Your pictures are so enticing, and I hope your friend knows how very jealous we are that he got to eat your delectable food!

Spryte said...

That looks amazing!!!!!!

Cool trick for the pearl onions. I'll definitely be trying that!