Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beef Bourguinon

We were supposed to go to the movies this afternoon. Just us 3 girls (Taylor, Me and Doris). However, work got out of control and Taylor is recovering from being extremely sick. To Compromise we are putting movies in the DVD player and I am cooking. (Totally a plus for me because I do not like going to the theater and I like to do more than one thing at a time). It is overcast here today and it really feels like fall. So I am going to make Beef Bourguinon. I am told I make the best Beef Bourguinon. Thing is. It isn't mine. Well it is, but I originally got the recipe from the widely popular Julia Child's with a few changes. I don't eat it. Well I eat the veggies and the broth, but I will pass on the beef thanks. I add a lot of Veggies to mine. But the reason this meal is loved is because it is "Carefully done and perfectly flavored" as Julia says. I think at this point most of america has watches as Julie Powell carefully made this dish on the movie Julie & Julia. I think that scene made it a more popular dish in america. This is not her exact recipe. I change measurements and make a much bigger dish. I serve a lot of people. Her recipe says it serves 6, but she hasn't met my husband, or my kids. If she were alive I am sure she would tell me what I am doing wrong, but my family LOVES it. So, us girls put in the movie Julie and Julia and I cooked. What a great afternoon. Time to open a wine and sit back and enjoy.

one package of thick sliced bacon
2 TBSP olive oil
4 pounds lean beef cut into 2 inch cubes
2 sliced carrots
1 sweet onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 TBSP gluten free all purpose flour
5 cups full bodied red wine. I find Chianti to work best
4 cups brown beef stock
2 TBSP tomato paste
5 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf

Optional veggies to be added later:
mushrooms
potatoes
baby carrots
anything you like really.

The Process, and it is important you do the process:

Simmer the bacon for 10 minutes in water for 10 minutes.
Drain and dry with a paper towel. Discard towel and set aside the bacon. Yes, you are basically boiling bacon, but just trust me.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. and get your crockpot or ovensafe pan ready. ... a big pan.

Saute the bacon in the oil in 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. It should be slightly brown. Just enough to seer it. Remove the bacon from the pan and put either in your ovensafe pan or crockpot.
Dry your beef. Yes, you will use several paper towels or napkins to get as much moisture off the beef as possible.

Heat the skillet with the bacon fat and oil until it is almost smoking.
Saute the beef a few pieces at a time in the fat and oil until it is nicely browned on all sides.

Add the beef to the bacon.

In the same fat you browned the beef, brown the vegetables.
 Take out the veggies from the fat and oil and add them to the beef and bacon.
Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the gluten free flour and toss until it is coated lightly on everything.
Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and toss and then put it back in for 5 minutes. According to Julia "This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust".  I really think this must be the secret  ;)

Reduce your oven to 325 or put your crockpot on high. It works both ways. You choose. I am doing oven today because it is already 3:30.
Remove from oven and stir in the wine and enough beef stock so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove and then cover the casserole and set in your oven or in your crockpot.

While the beef is cooking you can brown your optional veggies in butter and set aside. Don't add yet.

After 2 1/2 - 3 hours and the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole dish. Distribute the browned veggies over the meat.

Skim the fat off the sauce you put in the saucepan. Simmer the sauce for a minute skimming off additional fat as it rises. Taste for Seasoning and then pour over the meat and veggies.

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