Sunday, November 8, 2009

Channeling Julia.....

So..., we have tickets and we have our place to stay. We are really going to Paris! When we first started planning this trip it was my goal to try cooking lots of great French dishes in anticipation of cooking some of our meals while there. I've tried a few, but I'm nowhere near where I had hoped to be!
So this morning Shelby called wanting some ideas on cooking a pot roast for her 86 degree day in San Antonio (hey, that's cool for Texas!).
After our "chat", I headed for the grocery store in anticipation of making a pot roast, too. Then I remembered Paris.....and my hopes of conquering some great French recipes to cook while we're there. So I decide to try beef bourguignon! Because I made this decision AFTER heading to the grocery store, we did have to make an additional trip for things I had forgotten.

Julia's recipe is labled "difficult", but it really isn't.....there are just so many steps...and for my first time out, I didn't want to skip any.
The recipe calls for slab bacon, which you slice into 1/4 inch slices and then cut those slices into 1 1/2 inch squares.

Then you boil them in a 1 1/2 quarts of water (it really doesn't take that much water though!), drain them,

and dry them off very well !

Brown them in a tablespoon of olive oil. While they are browning, I cut my beef, onions and carrots.
I removed the bacon, added the beef (in several crowding!) and browned it.
I added the browned beef to the bacon, then browned the onions and carrots.
Put the meat and veggies back into the dutch oven with the onions and carrots, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of flour.....stir to coat.Put into a 400 degree oven for 4 minutes.....stir, then put back into the oven for an additional 4 minutes. Add 3 cups of red wine and 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Then add the herbs, which consist of two cloves of garlic, 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 3 tablespoons of thyme (I just put in 6 or 7 stems) 1 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2 small bay leaves......

stir and bring to a slow simmer on the stove. Then put in the oven and adjust the temperature to keep it at a slow simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender. While the meat and veggie mixture is braising, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.....this keeps the butter from burning. Brown approximately 18 to 24 pearl onions (Julia leaves the skins on....I took them off), remove and then brown 1 pound of mushrooms quartered.

Once the meat and veggie mixture comes out of the oven,

strain the meat and veggies, saving the sauce into a saucepan, >
which I simmered to reduce until thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.

Add the mushrooms and pearl onions to the meat.....
and pour the reduced sauce over them and simmered for an additional few minutes. Voila! I
served Dennis' over wild rice with crusty bread. I ate mine without the rice. I have to tell you this is a fabulous recipe! The next time I think I'll reduce the amount of wine to 2 was just a little too rich!

I hope you'll try this recipe. It may seem intimidating, but it's really not that difficult. It's just time consuming.
You can find Julia's recipe here: Click Here

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