Rewind to three years ago to a Yankee swap Christmas party with my in laws. I was the lucky duck that was about to be stuck with a set of mugs shaped like penises. Until that last gift was unwrapped.... a copy of Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. I just about beat my sister in law up for it. There was no way I was going home with the penis shaped mugs.... that I may or may not have brought to the party.... I mean not only is it the worst gift ever, you can't get stuck with what you brought right?
After all the swapping was done I had my hands on the copy of Julia's most famous book. That winter I read it cover to cover. Though I have to admit I have only used a few of the recipes over the years. The first one I tried and have made countless times was the Beef Bourguignon. To this day it is one of my favorite meals.
For those who do not know what Beef Bourguignon is... It's just a beef stew cooked in wine with bacon and mushrooms. Not as scary as it sounds and really quite simple. It just takes time to cook.
Since there are probably about 100000000000000 blogged versions of this recipe floating around in Internet world. I am going to share my version of Mastering The Art of French Cooking's Beef Bourguignon. I am pretty sure Julia could get behind my stew. It is packed with flavor, hearty and warming. Everything you would want on this -20 day! (Yep... that's how cold it feels in NH today!)
But before we get started.... find a pair of your grandmothers pearls, put on a cutesie apron, and channel your inner Julia.
Recipe adapted from: Mastering The Art Of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
6 oz of bacon cut up into small pieces
1 tbs olive oil
3 lbs stewing beef
1 large carrot peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion diced
1 stalk of celery diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbs flour
3 cups full bodied red wine. I used a Chianti
2-3 cups beef stock
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 cloves of minced garlic
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 smoked ham hock
1 lb mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes
(Buttered noodles, cooked rice or boiled potatoes for serving)
In the bottom of a large dutch oven (or casserole that can go from stove top to oven) saute bacon pieces in olive oil. When Crisp remove from pan and set aside.
Bring remaining fat up to temperature until it is almost smoking. Pat stew meat dry with a towel and add to fat. Fry until browned on all sides. Add to the bacon. Set aside.
Add carrots, onion and celery to the pan. Saute until translucent. Add beef and bacon back into the pan and sprinkle everything with 2 tbs of flour. Tossing to coat all the meat and vegetables.
Place dutch oven in the oven. Heat for 4 minutes until everything is browned. Turn oven down to 325. Remove dutch oven and mix in wine and 2 cups of beef stock or just until the meat and vegetables are just covered in liquid. Mix in garlic, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and ham hock. Cover dutch oven and return to the oven. Allow to simmer in the oven for 2 1/2- 4 hours. Add more liquid if needed making sure the tops of the beef are covered with liquid at all times.
Remove from oven when the meat is fork tender and can easily be broken apart.
Mix in in mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Return to oven for another 30 minutes or until tomatoes have split open.
Serve stew hot over buttered noodles, rice or boiled potatoes. I opted to use my favorite old fashioned egg noodles.
Did you know it is soup week? Heck yes it is! My favorite blogging friends and I have teamed up once again to deliver a week of hearty soups to take the chill off on this freezing cold days! Be sure to check out what the others are making by checking out the links below!
Katie of Hill Country Cook – 3 Bean and Spinach Soup and LeCreuset Giveaway
Kirsten of Comfortably Domestic: Broccoli Cheddar with Bread Bowls
Haley of Girly Girl Cooks: Hearty Vegetable Mexican Soup and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Madeline of Munching in the Mitten: Garbage Soup
Mads of La Petite Pancake: Gnocci Pesto Soup
Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain: Sunchoke Soup with Gorgonzola and Honey Crostini
Megan of Wanna Be A Country Cleaver: 40 Clove Garlic Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Monica of The GromMom: Coconut Curry with a lot of Aloha
Kat of Tenaciously Yours: Eat Live Run’s White Chicken Chili
Allison of Decadent Philistines: Arizona Mountain Soup with Cornbread
Anne of My Sweet Heart: Pink Prosecco Soup
Jeanne of Inside NanaBread’s Head: Shrimp Bisque and Mayo Biscuits
Beka of Kvetchin’ Kitchen: Creamy Mushroom Soup