Saturday, October 5, 2013

Remaking Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

Have you watched the movie "Julie and Julia"? I watched it several times and I find the emotions which Julie when through very familiar. Of course, I am not obsessed with Julia Child as crazy as Julie but I can share the excitement and anxiousness while she waits for comments and responses from her blog readers. Having this blog allows me to share my story and experience of cooking and baking food for my family and friends. It is also a platform which I hope you can be inspired to remake the foods I shared. 

In one of the scenes of the movie, Julie made Beef Bourguignon for a special dinner. The process was long and tedious. She felt asleep and the stewed beef burnt. Lucky mine was not burnt and turned out so good.... The fragrance coming from the oven kept me wide awake so it is impossible for me to fall asleep. 





Reading Julia Child's recipe book is a nightmare. It is complicated and confusing. Ingredients are not consolidated in a list and instructions are unclear. My hubby and I had to read several times and rewrite the recipe to make sense for ourselves. At the same time, we refer to Thomas Keller's for cross referencing. Julia's recipe calls for beef cubes but after trying 50% beef cubes and 50% boneless short ribs, trust me, please use short ribs. It was so tender and tasted so gorgeous. 

Ingredients

  • 170g Thick bacon, remove rind and cut into 1/4" thick and 1.5" long 
  • 1.3kg Boneless Beef short ribs, cut into 2" cubes
  • 1 Large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 Yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with skin 
  • 2 sprig of Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Herb bouquet in cheese cloth: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig 
  • Almost 1 bottle of full bodied red wine (600ml + 120ml)
  • 400ml + 120ml Beef stock 
  • 20 Pearl onions, peeled
  • 450g Button mushrooms, halved
  • 28g Plain flour
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
Steps:
Beef
  1. Preheat the over to 230 degree Celsius. 
  2. In a heated dutch oven, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute bacon over miderate heat till light brown. Remove and set aside. 
  3. Add beef cubes and browned it. Do not overcrowd the pot. You may have to do this in batches. Remove and set aside. 
  4. Add in onions and carrots. Saute till onion turns brown. 
  5. Add in bacon and beef cubes. 
  6. Add in 1tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle flour lightly over beef and mix well. 
  7. Put the dutch oven, uncovered, in the hot oven for 4 minutes. 
  8. After 4 minutes, take the pot and toss the beef. Return it to the oven for another 4 minutes. 
  9. Remove the pot and lower the temperature of the oven to 160 degree Celsius.
  10. Put pot over stove and add in 600ml of wine and 400ml beef stock to cover the beef. 
  11. Add in tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. 
  12. Bring to simmering point. 
  13. Cover and place pot into oven for 3 hours.


 Pearl Onions
  1. In a separate sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and add pearl onion and saute for 5 minutes. 
  2. When they start to brown, add 120ml Beef stock and 120 ml red wine.
  3. Add some salt and pepper and herb bouquet. 
  4. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until liquid evaporated. 
  5. Remove  herb bouquet and set aside the onions. 

Mushrooms
  1. In a saute pan, heat pan with 28g of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. 
  2. Add mushrooms to brown. Avoid stirring. 
  3. Toss the mushrooms only with it starts to brown. 
  4. Add some salt and pepper. Remove and set aside. 


To serve
  • Remove dutch oven from the oven. When the beef is ready, fork pierces the meat easily. 
  • Pour contents into a sieve over a large sauce pan. Wash the dutch oven and return the drained contents. 
  • Add in pearl onions and mushrooms. 
  • Skim fats from the sauce in saucepan.  
  • Simmer sauce to reduce to about 500ml. 
  • Pour sauce over the meat and vegetables.