3 Nov 2010, 12:40am
Of Food and Love recipes:


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  • Of Food And Love: Beouf Bourguinon (classic Beef Stew)

    And let me tell you, good things come in Dutch ovens.

    This is my Dutch oven.  D got this for me for Christmas last year and what a wunnndderful addition to our little family.
    So, recently, I was introduced to Julia Child and her BOOK/S.  In. Love.  It didn’t take me long to decide that I was going to cook one of her more popular recipes:  Beouf Bourguinon.  I’ve never really cooked French cuisine.  Our family tends to eat quite simply, but healthy, nonetheless.
    Let me tell you…little one inch squares of beef
    …wonderfully fresh and beautifully chopped veggies, like carrots, onions and mushrooms
    are a great motivator, and I was ready to take this recipe on at all costs.
    Well, almost at all cost$.  I did have to do a little substituting –  apricot nectar for the cognac and red cooking wine for the Pinot Noir.  Those items were simply out of my budget.  But, next time I make this I just might need to make the sacrifice.
    The first step in this dish is the bacon…get it nicely browned
    Then, take your carefully diced, salted and peppered pieces of beef and stick them into the grease to sear them. (the trick to making them sear just so is to dry each piece in a paper towel. very. important step)
    Perfectly seared?  Yes. Delicious? DEF
    Then, into all that grease goes the veggies.  It just seems like you’re ruining them.  But you’re not, you’re maakkiinngg theemm yummeee.
    Once the onions have browned a bit, you throw the meat back in along with the rest of the liquid ingredients.
    Let that puppy boil for a few and then stick it into the oven at 250 for a little over an hour.
    It will come out looking like this:
    I served it with Ciabatta bread.  Fresh, soft, Ciabatta.
    All tummies were happy
    And my pride meter sort of bust its cap.  Definitely proud of this recipe.  Yet another thing I’ve never done.  Done.
    Here is the recipe I used:
    • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
    • 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
    • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
    • 2 yellow onions, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
    • 1/2 cup Cognac
    • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
    • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 pound frozen whole onions
    • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

    For serving

    • Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional


    Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

    Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

    Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

    Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

    To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley


    “Noncooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.” — Julia Child

    3 Nov 2010, 6:42pm
    by Jana Floyd


    I have been stalking a Dutch Oven for a while now… I might swoop down on one soon, inspired by your post!

    3 Nov 2010, 7:09pm
    by East Coast-er Momma


    You go girl! There is so much you can make with your little Dutch Oven. Deserts, soups, casseroles…endless

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