A Beautiful World

August 18, 2009

Bon Appetit

Here is Sandy, really hoping someone will drop some down to her! Not a chance on this meal!!!

Of course everyone who cooks this dish, needs a little wine, "to cook with"!

OK, I uploaded pictures of my culinary adventure! This is, by far, the longest recipe I have ever followed. It was easy but it did take forever. I started at 11:30 and ended the whole process around 4pm. I just reheated the meal on the stove top in the casserole when it was time to eat. Julia recommends this and says it tastes better when it is reheated. It was heavenly! Our house still smells fantastic and my boys both loved it but my oldest picked out the mushrooms!

August 17, 2009

Cooking ala Julia

OK! Today I am cooking the major meal!!! I have made my list and have to buy a pot to cook it in. I only use casserole dishes or my calaphon pots usually, but don't want to mess this up- so I am going to target to get something that resembles (but is not as costly) as lecreuset dutch oven I saw in the movie!!! I am already feeling like a french chef, as I know what every ingredient on this list is, except solid chunk bacon!!! I live near Smithfield, Va , so I am thinking that will be easy enough to find!
It is 9:30 and I first must take my walk. Stay tuned for the details of my cooking adventure!

August 15, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon, Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

Recipe courtesy of the Recipe Zaar

Boeuf Bourguignon a La Julia Child

Recipe #148007 | 5 hours | 1 hour prep | add private note
Chef Kate

By: Chef Kate
Dec 12, 2005

This is the classic, adapted from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." A wonderful dish, raising the simple stew to an art form and quite simple to make--even though the instructions look long. Use Simple Beef Stock, the recipe for which is posted on this site. Use a wine which you would drink--not cooking wine. And the better the cut of beef, the better the stew. As the beef is combined with braised onions and sauteed mushrooms, all that is needed to complete your main course is a bowl of potatoes or noodles and lots of good bread for the sauce.

SERVES 6 (change servings and units)






  1. 1
    First prepare the bacon: cut off the rind and reserve.
  2. 2
    Cut the bacon into lardons about 1/4" think and 1 1/2" long.
  3. 3
    Simmer the rind and the lardons for ten minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water.
  4. 4
    Drain and dry the lardons and rind and reserve.
  5. 5
    Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
  6. 6
    Put the tablespoon of olive oil in a large (9" - 10" wide, 3" deep) fireproof casserole and warm over moderate heat.
  7. 7
    Saute the lardons for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.
  8. 8
    Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  9. 9
    Dry off the pieces of beef and saute them, a few at a time in the hot oil/bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides.
  10. 10
    Once browned, remove to the side plate with the bacon.
  11. 11
    In the same oil/fat, saute the onion and the carrot until softened.
  12. 12
    Pour off the fat and return the lardons and the beef to the casserole with the carrots and onion.
  13. 13
    Toss the contents of the casserole with the salt and pepper and sprinkle with the flour.
  14. 14
    Set the uncovered casserole in the oven for four minutes.
  15. 15
    Toss the contents of the casserole again and return to the hot oven for 4 more minutes.
  16. 16
    Now, lower the heat to 325°F and remove the casserole from the oven.
  17. 17
    Add the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered.
  18. 18
    Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs and the bacon rind.
  19. 19
    Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove.
  20. 20
    Cover and place in the oven, adjusting the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly for three to four hours.
  21. 21
    The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  22. 22
    While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms and set them aside till needed.
  23. 23
    For the onion, if using frozen, make sure they are defrosted and drained.
  24. 24
    Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet.
  25. 25
    Saute over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible, without breaking apart.
  26. 26
    Pour in the stock, season to taste, add the herbs, and cover.
  27. 27
    Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  28. 28
    Remove the herbs and set the onions aside.
  29. 29
    For the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet.
  30. 30
    As soon as the foam begins to subside add the mushrooms and toss and shake the pan for about five minutes.
  31. 31
    As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.
  32. 32
    To Finish the Stew:.
  33. 33
    When the meat is tender, remover the casserole from the oven and empty its contents into a sieve set over a saucepan.
  34. 34
    Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it (discarding the bits of carrot and onion and herbs which remain in the sieve).
  35. 35
    Distribute the mushrooms and onions over the meat.
  36. 36
    Skim the fat off the sauce and simmer it for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface.
  37. 37
    You should be left with about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
  38. 38
    If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock.
  39. 39
    If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency.
  40. 40
    Taste for seasoning.
  41. 41
    Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
  42. 42
    If you are serving immediately, place the covered casserole over medium low heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
  43. 43
    Serve in the casserole or on a warm platter surrounded by noodles, potatoes or rice and garnished with fresh parsley.
  44. 44
    If serving later or the next day, allow the casserole to cool and place cold, covered casserole in the refrigerator.
  45. 45
    20 minutes prior to serving, place over medium low heat and simmer very slowly for ten minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

August 10, 2009

Julia Child

I just got back from the movie Julie and Julia and it inspired me!!! In many ways, actually, but mostly to cook and to blog.
OK I know my blog is a crazy hodgepodge of stuff. There isn't one focus and I have no clue how to do it any other way. I loved Julie's idea of following a cookbook all the way through and writing about it each day. I would love to be that disciplined. I really have no clue what to narrow a blog down to. I have random thoughts and things come to me at various time. The no brainer would be breast cancer and the trials and tribulations regarding all I am going through this year. Honestly, I have a ton to say on the subject but all of it depressing and I really would rather be more uplifting in my spare time from the constant disaster that is currently my life!
Until a focused revelation comes my way I will have to work on my other inspiration from the movie...cooking!!!!! OK, I love to cook but only sometimes! Mostly I think of it as a chore and not the joy it can be. Plus, my husband is a great cook and does the chore more often than not. I am going to start my new mission with my tried and true cookbook. It's a compilation of all my Grandmother's dishes (in her writing, no less). Right now I have a repertoire of about 20 different dishes I make over and over. Most of them I know by heart by now. It's easy and safe and did I say, easy? I know what to buy at the grocery store. I know approximately how long it will take me. I know mistakes I have made in the past and what not to do. I know which of these my kids will eat and which one's make them squish their noses like only kids can! I am throwing all that knowledge out the window and making a new recipe of hers. Tonight!!!! Who knows, if I relax in this way, perhaps a revelation on what to focus my blog on will occur?