It was oddly exhilarating, the grand ambitions all these strangers had for my dinner party. These people thought that Julie Powell, with her yearlong cooking project, was sufficiently fascinating to draw the greatest lights of food celebrity chefdom, and maybe even some minor movie stars, to her crappy outer-borough apartment. Hell, maybe it was true. Maybe my Boeuf Bourguignon, the ninety-fifth of the 524 recipes I had challenged myself to cook in one year, was fascinating.
-Julie & Julia, Julie Powell
Boeuf Bourguignon. It sounds so fancy when it rolls off the tongue. Or at least in my head it does. Boooof. Booog-ing-yun.
Yeah. Or not.
Fortunately it’s also relatively easy to make.
I took a few short cuts with this recipe. I didn’t include bacon (it went bad… note to self: check best before date). I tossed the mushrooms in at the end rather than sauteeing them (best idea ever). I didn’t bother with a few steps. And I ‘crisped the meat edges’. What I’m saying is, you can’t mess this up (not really, anyway. If you burn it to black, well, you’re on your own there).
Preheat oven to 230oC and begin by chopping up 1/2 kg of chuck meat into 5 cm cubes.
Sauté in olive oil until golden brown in a frying pan, or a preferably a dutch oven if you have one.
Then place in a bowl to the side.
In the same pan, toss in one chopped carrot and one chopped onion.
Sauté, then add back in the beef.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, add in 3 tbsp of gluten free flour and toss to coat.
Next stir in red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, mashed up garlic, thyme and 1 bay leaf.
Bring to a simmer.
Transfer everything from the frying pan to a casserole dish and place on a bottom rack in the oven. Lower heat so it slowly simmers, rather than going into a rolling boil. You’ll be leaving this to cook for 3-4 hours.
While this is in the oven, peel 18 tiny onions.
Sauté in butter until golden brown and add another cup or so of beef stock, or so the onions are almost covered.
Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until most of the stock has reduced.
About 1/2-1 hr before the meat has finished cooking, place both the onions and 1/2 kg of chopped mushrooms into the stew.
The original recipe called for putting the stew through a sieve, and skimming off fat, but once it was finished, I just jumped straight in and ate instead.
So, this was my spin on it.
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