My future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

No, I’m not the most egotistical person to ever walk the earth and no, the post title has nothing to do with the actual post. My mom was talking about it last night and I couldn’t think of a more creative name for my post today. And it sounded cool :)

Another day away from Italian food. (yes!!!!!) My mom was in the mood for Boeuf Bourguignon from the Julia Child cookbook, so I was a traitor for a day and *GASP* made French food. Sorry for the absence of pictures today. I was in a crazed rush to get this together, since it takes more than 4 hours to make and I didn’t start til 3 :/ But to make up for my lack of pictures, I’ll type up the recipe and throw in my comments so you can make the Bourguignon to your heart’s content without having to get the cookbook. How nice am I?!?!


Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms
Serves 6 (those 6 people must have huge stomachs. It serves 8, easy)
Serve with boiled potatoes, rice or buttered noodles

A 6 oz chunk of bacon (I just use 6 slices of regular bacon)
Remove rind and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

A 9-10 inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
1 Tb olive or cooking oil
A slotted spoon
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat fat until it is almost smoking before you
sauté the beef.

3 lbs. stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
Dry beef in paper towels (it won’t brown properly if it’s damp).
Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. (I usually have to add more oil as I sauté the beef).

1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out
the sautéing fat. (the past two times I’ve made this there hasn’t been enough fat to drain, so I just left it)

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tb flour
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle the flour on the meat and toss again to coat the beef with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of pre-heated oven for 4 minutes. Toss meat and return to oven for 4 minutes. This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust. (The crust must be invisible because I sure haven’t seen it…) Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

3 cup full-bodied young wine, such as a Burgundy or a Chianti
2-3 cups beef stock or beef bouillon
1 Tb tomato paste (I always leave this out,because that’s just how I roll)
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
The blanched bacon rind
Stir in the wine and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate oven temperature so that the liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2-3 hours (or just forget about it like I do. It tastes just as awesome). The meat is done with a fork pierces it easily (or when you can’t stand the amazing smell anymore and you yank it out of the oven like a mad man. whichever comes first).

18-24 small white onions(I didn’t add these the first time and did the second. If you are gonna add these, leave out the other onion because the whole thing kinda becomes Onion Bourguignon. Unless that’s what you want. In that case I call you crazy)
1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter (blech)
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set aside until needed.

When meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a sauce pan.(what I usually do is take out the meat with a slotted spoon and just stick it in a bowl). Wash out the casserole (or not) and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce (there usually isn’t enough fat to skim…). Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, add additional beef broth. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables (or add the meat back to the sauce if you took it out with a spoon)

FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2-3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice and decorated with parsley

FOR LATER SERVING: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15-20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce

Well there you go. Boeuf Bourguignon à la Piccolaitaliana. If any of you (all 3 of my readers….) make this, let me know how it goes! I’ve eaten it with rice when I’ve made it, but I’d love to hear how it is with noodles or potaters.

I AM going back to The Silver Spoon tomorrow. I see fried fish in my future…yum…


3 thoughts on “My future’s so bright I gotta wear shades

  1. Piccola,

    I always knew that you would have a bright future and it probably be as a nurse rather than a writer. However, you could still do some writing when you are not nursing (or cooking).

    If I would ever make Beouf Bourguignon, and it would probably not be very soon, I would probably add taters to it and most likely drink the red wine (in a stew) rather than stew the beouf in it. BTW Your BB looks very delicious. I llook forward to my next visit to STL and the scrumptious meals that you will be providing!!!

    When do you plan to take up a collection to pay for all of the ingredients that go into your cuisine-ing.


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