Thursday, December 31, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon

A last, final, tasty thought for the year.

So, after watching Julie and Julia the other day, I had to make this. The publishers made it available online for free, so I downloaded the PDFs and printed it off. Then I did some research online on what to substitute for the wine in it.

This is absolutely the most time-consuming thing I have ever cooked in my life. I probably cut the beef in too-small pieces, though I did follow what the recipe said. They were smaller than what was shown in the movie, however. Just drying and searing them took over an hour.

I started with the bacon as instructed -- couldn't find a chunk of bacon, so I got thick cut bacon and cut it into the pieces of the size indicated in the recipe. While it was cooking, I got to work on cutting up the beef. While the first pan of beef was cooking, I started drying the rest. Once it was all dried, I was about halfway done cooking it all, so I sliced the carrots and onions and peeled the pearl onions. I purchased pre-sliced mushrooms, so that was already taken care of. At that point, the beef was all cooked, so I just kept going with the recipe. I started it in my giant cast iron skillet, but it isn't big enough to put everything in, so once out of the 450 degree oven, I dropped the temp to 300 (instead of whatever the recipe said) and got out my pampered chef professional stock pot. It can go in the oven, but not at 450 or I would have just done it all in that. ANYWAY. Since I don't cook with wine, I used 2 cups of cherry juice, about 2/3 cup of white grape juice, and 1/3 c of aged balsamic vinegar to cut the sweetness of the juices. (I might cut the vinegar to 1/4 c and increase the white grape juice to 3/4 next time). Aside from that and lowering the heat a tad more, I followed the very long recipe exactly and pulled the stew out of the oven at 12:30 a.m. and went to bed.

My husband loves my normal cooking -- I've started doubling most things so he has leftovers to reheat when he gets home from work while I'm still sleeping. He will eat it all. Yesterday, I'd made guacamole meatloaf burgers for a late lunch/early dinner. He devoured three quite happily yesterday, and I put two aside for him this morning. But when he came home to the heavenly aroma of beef, balsamic vinegar, onions, thyme ... He said, "Can't I just eat THAT?"

I let him have a taste. "Wow. Amazing. So good." He couldn't string two words together. He then ate the burgers, but kept looking longingly at the fridge. I finally said, "Go get yourself a bowl." He jumped up and ran, afraid I'd change my mind.

He was drooling and couldn't stop talking about it afterward. He wants to take some to his folks another time and I said, "Well, why don't we plan on that next Christmas or something, because this is an expensive, time-consuming recipe and I probably won't make it again for a while." It is divine, just way more $ than I usually spend on a typical dinner (about $40 for the pot) and way more time than I usually have to prepare.

We reheated it and served it for dinner tonight -- with boiled, buttered, and parsleyed red potatoes. So yummy. Kiddo, my carbivore, actually ate some. Little Mister ate the potatoes. The husband and I each had a bowl and are absolutely stuffed. It's a new tradition for us for New Year's Eve!


The Boob Nazi said...

Yuuuuum. Sounds delicious!

Tyson and Katie said...

I loved that movie! So inspiring. I want that cookbook now too.

stewbert said...

I know. My sister got the cookbook for Christmas. I'm only slightly jealous.