Tag: Julia Child

Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Above: Be sure to dry the beef with paper towels before frying. Damp meat won’t brown properly.)

This is the classic beef bourguignon recipe from Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” cookbook.

It is complicated and can take several hours but it is delicious.

If you’re looking for an easier recipe where you throw everything into a pot and wait 2 hours, try this one: Beef Bourguignon II: An Easier Recipe.

Either version goes well with this meal plan that features a side of torta d’patata: Julia Meets Bruna .  We made that for a Christmas dinner party for six and there was plenty to go around.

 

Tricia holding a plate of beef stew
Tricia holds a plate of beef bourguignon with a slice of torta d’patata during a Christmas dinner party.

Boeuf BOURGUIGNON (From Julia Child)

October 15, 2018
: 6-8
: 4 hr
: Difficult

By:

Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds boneless beef stew meat cut into cubes.
  • Olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of carrots
  • 5-6 cups of red wine (I used my award-winning homemade zinfandel)
  • 2-3 large, unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups of tomatoes (1 whole unpeeled tomato, cored and chopped, plus a can of drained Italian plum tomatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt
  • 4 tbs flour and 4 tbs of softened butter to make a paste for the finishing sauce, called “beurre-manie” sauce
  • 24 small onions, cooked in oil until brown, and then braised over the stove in a mixture of chicken stock and red wine (which covers them only half way). Cook until tender but not falling apart.
  • 3 cups of quartered mushrooms, cooked in oil and butter and chopped shallots, until tender and golden brown.
Directions
  • Step 1 Dry the meat with paper towels and then brown in batches in a large frying pan with a film of olive oil. Transfer browned beef into a large stockpot.
  • Step 2 Leave a spoonful of the fat in the frying pan and cook the sliced carrots, stirring and tossing until brown. And then scrape them out of the pan and into the stockpot with the beef.
  • Step 3 Pour a cup of wine over the hot frying pan and deglaze, scrapping up all of the bits on the bottom of the pan and then pour over the beef and carrots in the stockpot.
  • Step 4 Add the garlic and four more cups of wine to the stockpot. Fold in the tomatoes. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and salt to taste. The liquid should just about cover the beef. If it doesn’t add more.
  • Step 5 Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, and then cook at a slow simmer for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 6 Put a colander inside a sauce pan and drain mixture from stockpot. Rinse out the stockpot and put the beef and carrots back in it.
  • Step 7 Degrease the cooking liquid by skimming a spoon on top to take out the fat (about tablespoons or so). Boil the liquid to reduce it a little and adjust seasonings to your taste. You should have about 3 cups.
  • Step 8 Make the beurre-manie sauce by mixing the flour with the butter with very clean hands until if forms a paste or a lump, resembling dough. Whisk this into the cooking liquid until dissolved and then bring the mixture to a boil again so that the sauce thickens. (Note: If the sauce is not thick enough, make some more of the beurre-manie sauce and repeat.)
  • Step 9 Pour sauce over beef and carrots in the stockpot. And then fold in the onions and mushrooms. Simmer for about 2 minutes to blend all of the flavors.
  • Step 10 Serve on a plate with potatoes and a slice of crusty bread.Eat with a nice glass of zinfandel.
Moussaka

Moussaka

(Above: Maggie holds a plate of Moussaka and Greek salad.)

This is an untraditional moussaka recipe from Julia Child. I changed it slightly. It’s a bit time consuming (about 2-3 hours) to make but worth the effort. And unlike eggplant parmesan, you don’t have the tedious chore of dipping the eggplant in egg and breadcrumbs.

We served this at our Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day Party.”

Moussaka

May 11, 2011
: 10-12
: A Little Difficult (Takes Some Work)

By:

Ingredients
  • Eggplant (2. Make sure they’re firm, shiny and a dark purple. This is key, as I don’t believe in salting eggplant and draining it to get out the bitterness. If you buy a perfectly ripe eggplant without bruises, it won’t be bitter.)
  • Olive oil and Salt (Enough to brush each eggplant slice.)
  • Dried herbs (I used a very small amount of oregano, thyme, and mint.)
  • For the lamb mixture:
  • Ground lamb (1 1/2 pounds)
  • Fresh parsley (1/2 cup, pressed down)
  • Onions (2 medium, to make about 1 1/2 cups, minced)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Canned Italian plum tomatoes (2 cups, strained and drained)
  • Red wine (3/4 cup)
  • Allspice (1/8 tsp.)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Egg (1 large, beaten)
  • For the topping:
  • Butter (3 tbsp.)
  • Flour (1/4 cup)
  • Hot milk (2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Mozzarella cheese (1 cup, grated)
  • Nutmeg (1 small pinch)
  • Swiss cheese (1/2 cup, grated, to top the topping)
Directions
  • Step 1 Wash and peel the eggplant vertically, leaving vertical, purple stripes.
  • Step 2 Cut thin (About 1/4 of an inch) round disks of the eggplant.
  • Step 3 Brush on olive oil and salt on both sides and lightly sprinkle with the dried herbs. Bake in a 400-degree oven on a cookie sheet. Brown on one side and then turn over. You can cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil during baking. This should take about 15 minutes for each tray of eggplant. Set aside.
  • Step 4 Chop the parsley in a food processor, remove and reserve. Add the onions and chop with on/off pulses. Remove and saute in a frying pan with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the minced garlic.
  • Step 5 When onions are tender, add the ground lamb. Brown very lightly.
  • Step 6 Fold in tomatoes, wine, parsley and allspice, salt, pepper. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently for about a half hour or until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon. Taste periodically and adjust seasoning.
  • Step 7 Remove from heat and stir in the beaten egg.
  • Step 8 Lightly oil a baking dish (one the size of a good lasagna will do) and line it with a layer of eggplant.
  • Step 9 Spoon half the lamb mixture over it and then add another layer of eggplant. Add the rest of the lamb mixture and end with another layer of eggplant.
  • Step 10 To make the topping, do the following: Cook the butter and flour together for about 2 minutes without coloring, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Step 11 Remove from heat and pour in all but 1/2 cup of the hot milk. Whisk vigorously to blend thoroughly.
  • Step 12 Put it back on moderately high heat and whisk slowly until it comes to a simmer. Add in the rest of the milk in drips and drabs. Be careful to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
  • Step 13 Whisk in salt and pepper to taste.
  • Step 14 Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese.
  • Step 15 Spoon the hot sauce over the top of the eggplant. Shake the baking dish to allow it to sink down.
  • Step 16 Sprinkle the swiss cheese evenly on top. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven until the top is a light brown and bubbling.
  • Step 17 Serve warm or tepid, but not too hot. It’s good cold, too.

 

Meal Plan: Julia meets Bruna

Meal Plan: Julia meets Bruna

Bruna Micheli
Bruna Micheli

(Above: Julia Child)

We had a small Christmas dinner party last night and I decided to make Beef Bourguignon from Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” cookbook. The suggested accompaniments to this beef stew are “small boiled potatoes,” or mashed potatoes, “something to sop up the sauce.”

Although I didn’t want anything that would clash with all of the flavors from the stew, both of those options sounded a little too boring so I started thinking about other potato dishes and I flashed back to my grandmother Bruna’s kitchen and her wonderful torta d’patata: a very thin and savory potato cake made with swiss chard.

My grandmother was born in the hills of northern Tuscany, so I believe this recipe is very much a speciality from that area.

I made both of these dishes for the first time (a five hour affair) and they came out wonderful. As Julia would say, “Bon appetit!” Of course, Bruna would simply say, “Mangia!!”

Julia’s Beef Bourguignon

Stew beef frying
Be sure to dry the beef with paper towels before frying. Damp meat won’t brown.

 

Bruna’s Torta d’Patata

Torta d'patata
Torta d’patata before putting it in the oven where it develops a light, brown, crust.

 

Woman wearing reindeer antlers.
(Last night festivities included plenty of reindeer games.)