Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Football, Boeuf Bourguignon and recipes

What do beef stew, football and sorting through my files of recipes have in common? Actually not much but since the Chargers, my home town team and the New Orleans Saints, my adopted team were not in the play off games last Sunday I decided to watch the game and sort through my stacks of files filled with recipes.

Boeuf Bourguignon

As I cheered on the 49er’s I rummaged around in my freezer and pulled out beef stew, actually the beef stew of all beef stews! So no cooking for me today, just reading recipes, thawing out the delectable beef stew and watching a little football.
Out with all that paper!

Can you guess what the stew of all beef stews is? No, well last month on a cold rainy day I prepared “Boeuf Bourguignon with Boeuf A La Bourguignonne” Yes Julia Child’s “Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms.”

If you have not prepared this recipe or had the opportunity to indulge yourself in a mouth watering bowl of this delectable stew you must must try it!

Of course you need to set aside several hours to prepare this and at least an hour to slowly savor the finished product pared with a nice bottle of your favorite red wine and a freshly baked baguette. No wheat bread with this stew, yes I know white bread always gets a bad rap, but why are the French so healthy and they consume freshly baked bread with white flour, my guess is moderation and no chemicals...

The first time I prepared Julia’s recipe I made one exception, I purchased thickly sliced bacon and cut the slices into 1 inch squares. Julia’s recipe calls for a 6 ounce chunk of bacon, removing the rind and simmering the bacon with the rind in water for 10 minutes, adding the rind and cooked bacon to the pot when cooking the stew.

The second time I prepared the recipe I did not simmer the bacon in water, I again used thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces but fried the bacon in my cast iron baking pot over a very low heat, to remove as much fat as possible. The French use pancetta, which is bacon that has not been smoked.

As for the cut of beef it has been my experience that pre-cut stew meat works really well, already cu into cubes and when slow cooked it will be tender and delicious. You can find Julia Child’s recipe in her cook book of course or at http://cooking.knopfdoubleday.com/.../julia-childs-boeuf-bourguignon-recipe, there are some great suggestions for preparing this recipe on the site as well. Cached - Similar

 With the football games playing in the back ground I thawed out the Beef Stew, added a few more carrots, and tossed a couple of files full of recipes that I realized I would not be attempting to make any time soon. I love to save recipes that sound interesting and yummy but I am here to tell you that there are some recipes I will never try. For example I found a recipe for po boy sandwiches with fried shrimp which I love but the chances are very slim that I prepare this recipe in my kitchen. However I have also learned to “never say never”. 

There are some dishes that I just prefer to have someone else prepare, specifically if I am in New Orleans or anywhere in the gulf where fresh shrimp is available.  

Do you have a favorite dish that you love but would rather have someone else prepare it for you?
I would love to hear from you.

Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

My favorite Kitchen Helper for this recipe is:  
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven


  1. I wish you were around here. My hubby makes the best Gumbo, EVER! We've had friends that have visited New Orleans come and tell us they LOVE my Honeys Gumgo much, much better.

    If I sound like I am bragging, I AM. LOL!

    For some reason, I have always preferred that someone else prepares my hamburgers for me. Go figure!

    Hugs my dear friend,

  2. Please brag all you want! I love gumbo, one of my families favorite dishes.
    Funny about the burgers, my dad makes the best ever, mine are ok but not the sameas Daddy! Hugs back at you!