Boeuf Bourguignon by Julia Child...

I got Julia's book as a Christmas present from my Hubby and it was high time to do something from it. As my Hubby had a deciding vote he choose Bouef Bourguingon. It's amazing recipe - the best ever!!! You have to prepare to do a lot of work but it's SO worth it!!! We started making it after 2 pm and it was served as a late dinner (around 8 pm) that evening. I'm posting the recipe exactly as I have it in my book - don't want to miss something or give you wrong instructions... I hope you will try it and if you have a chance buy the book! It's officially my bible from now! :)

How to make it...

- 6 oz chunk of streaky bacon
- 1,5 kg lean stewing steak cut into cubes
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 oz flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/4 pint of full-bodied red wine (such as Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
- 3/4 pint brown stock or beef bouillon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- bay leaf, crumbled
- oil

Remove rind from the bacon and cut into lardons. Simmer it for 10 minutes. Drain and dry. Saute the bacon in the 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil over moderate heat for 3 minutes to brown. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Dry the beef (it will NOT brown when damp). Saute it on reheated fat from lardons, few pieces at a time until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced carrot and onion. Pour out the sauteing fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Place casserole uncovered in preheated to 230 C oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat again and leave for another 4 minutes. Remove casserole and turn the oven down to 160 C. Stir in the wine and enough stock to cover the meat. Add tomato paste, garlic, herbs. Bring to simmering point on top of the stove. Cover the casserole and place in the lower part of the oven. Let it simmer slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

In the meantime... oh yes, there's more work to do ;)

Brown-braised onions:
- 18 to 24 peeled onions about 1,5 cm diameter
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 120 ml brown stock, dry white wine, red wine or water
- medium herb bouquet (4 parsley springs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon thyme tied in cheesecloth)
- salt and pepper

When a butter and oil are bubbling in the frying an, add the onions and saute over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, till browned as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. Pour in the liquid, season to taste and add herbs. Cover and simmer slowly for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herbs, drain the onions and put aside.

Sauteed mushrooms:
- 500 g fresh mushrooms (washed, well drained, let whole if small or quartered if big)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil

As soon as butter and oil start to foam on the hot pan add mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for about 5 minutes. Wait till the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as the have browned lightly, remove from the heat. Put aside for later.

Back to boeuf...

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve placed over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the meat into it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two. You should have about 1 pint of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Taste and season if needed. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
Cover the casserole and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve in the casserole or arrange the stew on a dish surrounded with potatoes.

Enjoy after whole hard work - if you did all that - you deserve it! :)