Most of you know that one of my favorite movies to watch is Julie & Julia. I have fantasized over making Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon for months and months. The recipe really intimidated me. With the wine, the patting of the beef, the 3 1/2 hours of cooking and preparing! I finally broke down and gave it a whirl. I had a good excuse by my having friends over for dinner.
I did put my own twist on it…if you call it a twist. Maybe I can say it was a bit of laziness coupled with improvisation. No matter the time it took, it was worth the wait.
I will give you Julia’s recipe but I will tell you exactly what I did, too.
- 3 lbs lean stew beef, cubed
- 5 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/8″ x 1″ slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups of a young wine (I used a Beaujolais)
- 2-3 cups beef stock
- 1 4 ounces tomato paste
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 crumbed bay leaf (about 1/2 tablespoon dried)
- 5-6 shallots, quartered
- 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella)
- 1/2 – 1 stick butter
- In a large cast iron, boil the bacon in 2 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on a paper lined plate. Discard the water.
- Cook bacon in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on a paper lined plate.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Dry the beef cubes in a paper towel. The beef will not brown properly unless you do this.
- In the fat and liquid leftover in the cast iron, cook the beef a few pieces at a time over medium heat until browned on all sides. I cooked about 5 batches of beef. The beef doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through. Set beef aside once cooked.
- In the fat and liquid leftover in the cast iron, saute the carrot and onion for about 5-7 minutes. Set vegetables aside.
- Dump leftover liquid and return beef and bacon to cast iron.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper over the meat and toss to coat.
- Set uncovered cast iron on middle rack in oven and cook for 4 minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Remove cast iron, toss meat mixture and return uncovered cast iron to oven to cook for another 4 minutes.
- Remove cast iron and pour 3 cups of red wine over meat then pour just enough beef stock to barely cover the meat.
- Add vegetables and seasonings to cast iron.
- Cover and set cast iron on lower oven rack. Cook for 2-2 1/2 hours.
- While the stew is cooking, saute shallots and mushrooms with 1/2 stick butter and 1/4 cup beef stock. I cooked them for about 30 minutes…until they are soft.
- Once stew is cooked to perfection, add mushrooms and shallots to it, mix and serve!
Serve immediately. If you want to make this the night before, let cool and refrigerate. Simmer on the stove about 20 minutes before serving.
I served rosemary garlic bread and roasted asparagus with it. I didn’t hear any complaints that night!