20 January 2014

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon


 Boeuf Bourguignon. What a deliciously warm and filling meal. The wine-stewed meats and vegetables simmer together to create a delicious scent of comfort food. Especially when you are busy writing assignments! There is nothing better than a little cooking or baking for a productive procrastination dip.




 This is the classic Julia Child recipe, but made in the slow cooker. Because not all of us have time to make it in the oven, sorry Julia!

But trust me, it is every bit as delicious. The meat is fall-apart tender, and paired perfectly with pearl onions, carrots, and celery. The thickened stock and wine create a delicious sauce that just begs to be sopped up with a piece of french baguette. Oy. I need to make this again.




Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

Slow-Cooker version

Ingredients:

- 8 ounces lardons (or, if you don't live in a french-speaking culture, 5-6 thick-cut bacon sliced, diced)
- 2 1/2-3 stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes, patted completely dry and seasoned with salt and pepper (it's very important that the meat is DRY, otherwise it won't brown!)
- 2 cups good red wine (I used a Bordeaux)
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
- 4 medium-sized carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced

Directions:

1. Warm a stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is golden and crispy. Remove the bacon pieces (and save them for a future ceasar salad or something), and pout all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small dish.
2. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add some of your beef to the pan, careful not to overcrowd it. Sear it for 1-3 minutes on each side (if it doesn't budge when you try to flip it, it isn't ready!)
3. Transfer the seared meat to your slow cooker. De-glaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the wine, and scrape the dark glaze and any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan as the wine simmers. When the pan is clean, pour the wine over the seared meat.
4. Add 1 tablespoon of leftover bacon grease to the pan. Continue to sear the meat in batches, de-glazing the pan between each batch.
5. When all the meat is seared, add another tablespoon of bacon grease to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sliced and pearl onions with 1/4 teaspoon of salt until soft and browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and cook until softened. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker.
6. Add the leftover wine if you have any, and the broth to the slow cooker. Tuck in your sprigs of thyme and your bay leaf, and then lay your mushrooms on top of the mixture.
7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours. The beef should become fall-apart tender, and your kitchen will smell absolutely delicious!

Best enjoyed with egg noodles (as pictured), or with crusty baguette for dipping.


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