I love the classic French dishes such as Boeuf Bourgignon and had written a tribute to Julia Child with recipe on my earlier food and travel blog. It was before the release of the movie, Julie & Julia, and I was just new to putting my thoughts ‘out there’ as a blogger. That was a fairly new and exciting time for me in other ways too, as I learnt how , the new world online, blogging and social networks are such a fantastic way to build communities of interest, and to make new friends around the world. When I blogged the original piece, I was so excited when the Smithsonian approached me about putting my piece on their site: Julia Child Recipe Series from the Smithsonian It was also pretty exciting too as Sony Pictures featured me (well my Thoughts from Becca as Featured Blog) on the Julie & Julia website I’d only just started Inside Cuisine and you can see the link to Inside Cuisine in the screen shot on the right. Here’s an excerpt and the recipe from the original blogpost.
The classics have never gone out of style with me. They are the dishes I taught myself as a teenager and have been cooking ever since. Every winter since I first cooked this recipe, I’ve warmed family and friends with Boeuf Bourguignon. Here’s my adaptation using mustard, not flour, for thickening. Where possible, for added depth of flavour, I prepare a day ahead of eating, and start preparations with the marinade the day before that.
1.5 kg (3 1/2 lbs) casserole beef (shoulder or shin) cubed
60g (2oz) butter
5 tablespoons olive oil
sprigs of fresh thyme
125g (1/4 lb) fresh bacon
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 bottle good red wine
salt and pepper
Trim and cube beef. Peel carrots, halve lengthwise and slice thickly. Halve onions, peel, then halve lengthwise and slice thinly.
Marinade the beef, together with sprigs of fresh thyme, carrots and onions, in the wine and leave to marinate overnight. (I’ve omitted this at times to cook the same day, but it really is worth the effort if you can plan ahead).
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat the meat dry. (reserve the marinade for later use in the recipe). Put a large pan on the stovetop over medium heat, and add and heat olive oil and brown the meat a batch at a time; remove to another dish off the heat after each batch.
Trim bacon and slice into lardons (thick julienne). Reheat the pan and fry the bacon, again in batches. Set the bacon to one side.
Clean the pan removing excess fat.
Return the pan to the stovetop on a lower heat, add butter and return all the cubed beef to the pan. Add the dijon mustard (with thanks to Gary Rhodes for inspiring this addition, in place of flour, for thickening) and stir. Add the bacon, mushrooms and the marinade (fresh thyme, carrots and onions) and cook on a low heat for two hours. Where time permits I leave the casserole to sit overnight. (then you can skim any excess fat from the top, pick out the thyme if the sprigs have remained intact, and you can replace with fresh thyme again before gently reheating).
Check the seasoning; add salt and pepper as required. Check the thickness of the sauce and, if necessary, add some beurre manié (butter and flour.) The red wine should have reduced, and the mustard provided some natural thickening that most likely the beurre manie will not be required. Some recommend that the cooking can be finished in the oven in a covered casserole. Most usually I serve as it is on the day of cooking, or reheat on the stovetop. Bon appetit!