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.)

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