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REC: Boeuf Bourguignon. I always take out my Julia Child books, look at all the recipes

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #4791 at 5:37 am on Dec 5, 2006

for beef stew, and combine them as I go. It's about time I put it all on one page. The pork only appears in one of her versions so you won't miss it if you leave it out, and the roux can be make either with clarified butter or oil. The beef stew itself can be made a day or two ahead. Cooking the onions and mushrooms separately and combining everything before serving makes a big difference as each element holds its own--well worth washing 2 extra pans.

Beef Stew in Red Wine

for 6 to 8 servings

6-8 oz. lean salt pork or bacon
Cooking oil
3 to 4 lbs. boneless beef stew meat, such as the top round and knuckle or chuck, cut into 1-1/2 to 2-inch cubes. (save your money: roasting cuts like the rib and rump will fall apart, and something like the eye of the round will shred.)
1 sliced onion
1 sliced carrot
3 cups (1 bottle) full bodied young red wine
2 to 3 cups beef stock
2 or 3 large unpeeled cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups tomatoes (1 whole unpeeled tomato, cored and chopped, plus canned drained Italian plum tomaotes.)
1 imported bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme, or a spring of fresh thyme
1/2 the recipe below of brown roux, plus more if needed

24 brown-braised onions, recipe below
3 cups quartered fresh mushrooms, sauteed as in recipe below
Chopped parsley

A 12-inch frying pan and a covered 3-quart casserole, flame-proof if possible

Cut the rind off the salt pork and reserve. Cut the rest into lardons (sticks 1/4 inch wide and 1/1/2 inches long.) Simmer both the rind and lardons in 1-1/2 quarts of water for 10 minutes to rid them of salt. Drain.

Heat a little oil in the frying pan and saute the lardons until browned and the fat is rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a side dish.

Dry the pieces of meat--damp meat won't brown. Heat the frying pan with its rendered fat until very hot but not smoking. Brown the meat in batches, as many pieces as will fit in one layer without crowding, turning to brown all sides. Transfer to the casserole as they are done.

In the same fat, brown the onion and carrot. Transfer to the casserole with a slotted spoon.

Pour any remaining fat out of the frying pan and deglaze it with a cup of the wine. Pour into the casserole. Add the rest of the wine, the garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and salt to taste. Add the browned lardons and the blanched pork rind. Stir in the brown roux. Add enough beef stock to barely cover the beef.

Preheat oven to 325*F. Bring the stew to the simmer on top of the stove, cover, then transfer to the oven and cook at a very slow simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until fork tender. (It may take longer, so allow plenty of time, or even better make the stew a day ot two ahead. It's flavor will improve while resting.) If your casserole is not flame-proof, then set it in a 425*F oven until the simmer is reached, about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325*F.

Pour the contents of the casserole into a colander set over a sauce pan; wash out the casserole and return the pieces of beef to it. Press juices out of the residue in the colander, then pick through them for the pork bits to add to the beef (this step is a royal PITA and is probably why Julia's later recipes leave out the bacon altogether.)

Thoroughly degrease the juices in the pan. You should have about 3 cups of sauce. Boil down if necessary to concentate flavor. Add more roux and simmer if necessary for a thicker sauce. Taste carefully for seasoning and when you are satisfied, pour the sauce over the beef. (Refrigerate at this point if made ahead.)

[NOTE: For a particularly fine sauce, here's another technique. Drain the juices into a shallow pan. Put the pan over medium heat off-center, letting it simmer at one side while fat and other gunk collects at the other. Skim off fat and skin several times while the sauce reduces by about half. This trick is from Richard Olney, and it produces a delicate, velvety sauce.]

When ready to serve, reheat gently and fold in the prepared onions and mushrooms. Serve with boiled potatoes or noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.


For about six cups of sauce, blend 1/3 cup flour in a small heavy saucepan with enough clarified butter or peanut oil to make a loose paste. Stir over moderately low heat with a wooden spoon for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the roux slowly turns a nice medium brown. Remove from heat.

You could double or quadruple the proportions here, and refrigerate the extra in a covered jar--a cooked roux will keep almost indefinitely.


Small onions, 1 inch in diameter
Clarified butter or oil
Chicken or beef broth
Herbs, optional

Drop the onions into a pan of boiling water for exactly 1 minute; remove with a slotted spoon. Shave off the root and stem ends, keeping the onion layers attached at the root. Slip off the skins, and pierce a cross 1/8-inch deep in the root ends to help prevent bursting.

In a pan just roomy enough to hold them in one layer, saute the peeled onions in a little fat, swirling the pan to turn them; they will not brown evenly, but will take on a decent amount of color. Then add broth to come halfway up. Season lightly with salt and perhaps a bay leaf or a pinch of dried herbs. Cover and simmer slowly 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are tender when pierced but still hold their shape.


The point here is to saute them so their juices do not exude, which is mostly a matter of high heat and not too many mushrooms in the pan at once.

Clarified butter or oil (or a mixture of fresh butter and oil)
Fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed, dried, and quartered or sliced
Chopped shallots or scallions
Salt and freshly ground pepper

A large frying pan, preferably no-stick.

Heat a little butter and/or oil until very hot over high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss frequently, swirling the pan by its handle, for several minutes, while the mushrooms absorb the butter. In a minute or two it reappears on their surface; toss with the chopped shallot or scallions a moment or two more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve as soon as possible.

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