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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Joyeux Kitchen: Crockpot Bourguignon

I left the theater after seeing "Julie and Julia" starving, salivating, and ready to chef it up.  Somebody throw me an apron, find my pearls, and let's do this thing!  The recipe for Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms) wasn't hard to find, but after giving it a once-over it became apparent that I wasn't going to have time for this painstakingly fussy French dish.  No big deal, Doug wouldn't eat the mushrooms in the original recipe anyway.  This variation is from 3 different recipes, mainly Julia Child's, but hers takes 4+ hours and this one takes maybe an hour and then cooks all day (or night) in the crockpot. It is GOOD.

You'll need:
  • 4 slices good bacon, julienned
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. stew meat (cubed sirloin tip or round steak)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • **1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt (Johnny's), 1/4 tsp. marjoram, 1/4 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1-2 cloves minced garlic (I used a heaping tsp.) all combined in a bowl**
  • 1 cup Burgundy wine (Julia says: Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy..I've used good Zinfandel too) 
  • 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 heaping tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, 2 sweet onions, all medium chopped and set aside
In skillet, cook bacon pieces several minutes until crisp. Remove and set aside. DRY YOUR BEEF with paper towels. Put beef and flour in a bowl, toss to coat. Add olive oil to bacon fat, bring almost to smoking hot, add beef and brown on all sides. Put beef, crisp bacon, drippings from pan, seasonings, garlic, bouillon granules and wine into the crockpot. Warm up the cup of broth and add the tomato paste and sugar to it, heat and stir until combined and then add to crockpot. Top with all the chopped veggies. (The meat has to be on the bottom so it's completely covered with liquid.) Put the lid on and cook on low 10 hours; I cooked it overnight for a total of about 12 and it was awesome.

When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to move only the beef to a covered dish. Put a strainer over a big sauce pan and push the sauce and veggies through the strainer with a spatula. Discard (or eat with spoon) the mash that is leftover in the strainer. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down to a simmer and reduce to desired thickness. I served it over baked potatoes; she recommends potatoes, noodles or rice.

Paul Child: What is it you REALLY like to do?
Julia Child: Eat!
"Bon appetit!" :)

And for Ina Garten's Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
You'll need:
  • 3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled (I like Yukon Gold)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Cube the potatoes and place them in a large pot.  Cover them with cold water and add enough salt so the water tastes quite salty.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.  Meanwhile, heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn't boil.  Set aside until potatoes are done.  Drain potatoes in a colander.  Ina recommends putting them in a food mill at this point but I just toss them into the bowl of my Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment.  Mash the taters and slowly add enough of the milk/butter mixture to make the potatoes very creamy.  Add 2 tsps of salt (more or less to taste) and the sour cream and pepper and whisk to combine.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

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