I recently watched the movie Julie and Julia, and became inspired, not only to cook a delicious French dish, but also to continue my efforts in blogging.
The movie Julie and Julia is a story based on a women who is unhappy in her job, and feels like her life has little meaning, decides to start a food blog. Her mission: cooking her way through Juila Child’s cookbook. In the process, her blog becomes so successful that she gets a cookbook of her own, and even more importantly, she finds happiness and fulfillment in her life.
I connected with this movie, not because I am unhappy in my job or have no meaning in my life, but because starting a food blog was something that I never thought I could do. I get so excited when people who I don’t even know comment on my recipes, post pictures of their version of my cookies on Facebook, and PIN them to their social media outlets. Having my own blog has been rewarding, and has challenged me to make dishes I have never attempted before. I hope that one day it becomes successful like Julie’s, but if not, I am happy just posting for my few and faithful followers.
In the movie, one of Julie’s challenges was beef bourguignonne, a french stew that takes several hours to simmer to perfection, but once it does, the time and efforts are well worth it. The depths of flavor from the Pinot Nior, bacon and beef juices and the pearl onions combine to create an intense flavor, that melts in your mouth.
- 3 Tbs. canola oil
- 4½ lb. boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
- ½ lb. slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1½ Tbs. veal demi-glace (optional)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 bottle (750ml) Pinot Noir
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 lb. pearl onions, peeled
- 4 large carrots (cut into 1″ pieces)
- 4 stalks of celery ( cut into 1″ pieces)
- 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs and 6 parsley sprigs, tied with kitchen twine)
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, each about 2 inches in diameter, peeled
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- In a 6¾-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil until just smoking. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes, adding 1 to 2 Tbs. water if the bottom of the pot becomes too dark. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the beef.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the bowl with the beef and mushrooms.
- Discard all but ¼ cup of the fat from the pot. Add the yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, demi-glace ( I didn’t used demi-glace because I didn’t want to buy something that I may only use for one dish), and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Return the beef, mushrooms and bacon to the pot. Add the broth, pearl onions, carrots, celery and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then with the lid. Transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is fork-tender, 2½ to 3 hours.
- Skim the excess fat off the sauce, and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley.
- Serve the stew immediately over boiled potatoes. (Recipe below)
- Put the potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches.
- Season the water with salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes until tender when pierced, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes well and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the butter and parsley and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.