Well, I’m back in the kitchen – I think I deserved these few days of rest after that cursed duck. Delicious, but cursed. A last note on the beast : it was even more delicious on the 25th. It got a bit more compressed and the taste was even more phenomenal after a day of rest. Wonderful. Completely gone now though.
Anyway, what is better to start cooking again with than to whip out that classic French recipe that would be so easy to make, would it not be so time consuming? Beef bourguignon is a huge classic – basically, beef cooked in red wine, a sort of beef stew. I’ve already made this once, but this time, I did it the complicated way, a.k.a. Julia Child’s version, for a change. (One cannot help it when Mastering the Art of French Cooking is such a damned good book!)
(It’s a lot tastier than it looks in this picture). Thanks to Julia’s recipe, this time I was able to turn the stew’s cooking juices into a delicious sauce too by thickening it with a butter and flour paste – a technique from the first half of the 20th century, but hey! It works. The sauce was superbe.
This stew is really easy to make and very hard to get wrong. You blanch and slightly sauté your bacon, caramelise the (dried!) diced beef, then sauté the onions and carrots a little, add it to the pan, add about 700 ml of red wine (I used about 200 ml of port too, because it really gives it a twist). Then you add enough beef stock to cover the meat, you pop the lid on and into the oven it goes for as long as it takes for the meat to just melt in your mouth. In my case, 2 and a half hours. Of course there are important steps that cannot be omitted, but it’s too late in the day to type all those down as of now.
It is a proper winter warmer, best served with buttery boiled potatoes. And if you have a free day, it definitely comes recommended!
A delicious stew served to our three friends who came over for dinner – it felt like having my coming out ball.
I also made dessert, but that dish deserves its own blog post – so stay tuned, next up is an absolutely stunning lemon tart!
Vera Sugár, graduate with a journalism and creative writing degree, started writing at the age of 10. Passionate about literature, arts, history and languages, she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. Her works are available at http://goodaswinter.wordpress.com.