Monday, July 19, 2010

ALMOST Julia's Beef Bourguignon

We got a great deal, TWICE, on an entire beef tenderloin, which we had cut into steaks. There is not too much waste with a whole tenderloin, but you always have that little end piece, not big enough to cut into a steak, but the meat is way too good to throw away. I had two of those little packages in my freezer, and my husband asked for some boef bourginon. Even though it's hot as blazes outside, I agreed, since we hadn't had it in ages. I fixed it early in the morning and then dumped it into my crock pot, which he had retrieved from summer exile in the garage. Turned that baby on low, and headed off to work. Returning home, the heavenly smell filled the house. All that was left to do was cook up some noodles, warm the bread and dump lettuce and tomatoes (from my garden!!) into salad bowls.
I kind of followed Julia Child's recipe, but mine is not so complicated. I also cut way down on the amount of cognac that I used, since the hubby is not to fond of that spirit. Let me say upfront that it is ABSOLUTELY NOT necessary to use tenderloin in this recipe. As a matter of fact, the original calls for beef sirloin or chuck ("stew"). Since this is a slow cooking meal, there is plenty of time for the meat to tenderize as it cooks. Don't leave out the tiny, pearl onions, even though they are a little pricey -- they make the dish special.
We like this over buttered egg noodles with a little fresh parsley, but growing up, my mom always served it over rice. I've even seen it served over mashed potatoes or simply as a stew, with lots of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Whatever your family prefers, that's the right way to make it!

Beef Bourguignon

3 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. beef, cubed into bite size chunks

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 carrots, halved and sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 heaping T. tomato paste

12 oz. fresh mushrooms, some halved, some sliced (white, baby portobellos or a mixture of both)

1 can beef consomme' + 1/2 can water

1 cup hearty red wine such as cab. sauv.

1/4 c. + 2 - 3 T. flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 bay leaf

2 -3 dashes worcestershire sauce

3 T. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
2 oz. good cognac (more if you love it!)
12 - 16 tiny pearl onions, frozen or from jar (not pickled!)

12 oz. cooked, buttered egg noodles with 2 T. fresh parsley

In a large, deep frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. While your bacon is frying, dry your beef cubes off a little, by placing them on a paper towel or two. This will aid in the browing process. Remove the bacon to a paper towel, and all but 2 T. of the bacon fat. Add the beef cubes to the hot bacon fat. Stir them around, so that they brown on all sides. When they look nice and brown, turn the heat down a little and add the onions, garlic and carrot. Stir in the worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. When the onions begin to brown and soften, add the 1/4 c. of flour. Mix this into the meat/veggie mixture until ALL the flour is absorbed. If there is still fat/liquid in the pan, add a little more flour, 1 spoonful at a time. When the flour is incorporated, add the consomme', water,wine, tomato paste and mushrooms. Turn the heat up a little bit, bring the mixture to a boil and add the pearl onions, bay leaf, cognac and thyme.
At this point, you may put the mixture in your crock pot and cook it on low for at least 5 hours OR put it into an oven proof casserole and cook on 300 degrees for at least 3 hours. I like the crock pot way the best! 

1 comment:

Keri said...

LOVED Julie and Julia... and I love B. Bourginon too. This looks almost
TOO Simple!! Im doin it.