Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: French Dinner Party
The whole menu included baked brie as an appetizer, bouef bourginon served over buttered noodles, french bread, and asparagus with goat cheese as the main course, and chocolate mousse as dessert.
6 ounces bacon (*I just used 6 oz already sliced bacon)
1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (*I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
Crumbled bay leaf (*I didn't crumble the bay leaf, I've heard it's safer to leave it whole and remove it after cooking)
Blanched bacon rind (from bacon, above)
18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in stock (recipe follows)
1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter (recipe follows)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, or quartered if large
18-24 peeled white onions, about 1 inch in diameter
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup brown stock, dry white wine, red wine, or water
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth
Remove rind from bacon, 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.
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.
Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is 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.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
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 simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Skim fat off the sauce. 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, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 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 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
Sauteed Mushrooms: Place the skillet over high heat with the butter and oil. As soon as the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. During their saute, the mushrooms will first absorb the fat. In 2-3 minutes, the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat.
Sauteed mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, and reheated when needed.
Brown Braised Onions: When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so that they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
Pour in the liquid, season to taste, and add the herb bouquet. Cover and simmer slowly for 40-50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the herb bouquet.
from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child
Oh wow, that looks so good! I didn't realize it had so many steps to it, I thought it was basically just a stew! I'll have to try it one day.
What an amazing meal! It's fun to be very ambitious every now and then!
WOW! Nice work! You definitely deserved to get picked for this 24, 24, 24!
Can't go wrong with a fRench dinner. Looks delicious. I wish I were invited.
Megan, did you announce, "Bon Appetit!" when serving the beef bourguignon? It looks like it was a wonderful meal– surely both Julie and Julia would've been proud to have inspired it.
Fabulous Megan! Aren't 24,24,24 events so much fun!
Laura – I forgot to say "Bon Appetit!" I just realized that! I kept practicing it all afternoon, and then forgot when it was time to eat. I wanted to carry the huge pot into the dining room in spectacular fashion, but I forgot about that too.
Oh how fun! The dish looks fab, too!
I can almost smell it! Looks amazing.
You, my friend, are AMAZING!! It looks like it was delicious!:)
I know it's a time consuming dish to make, but wasn't it worth it? To see all those faces loving every bite?
Faith – Thanks so much for your comment! I wish you could have been here to take part in our dinner party 🙁
Barbara – you're right, it was definitely worth it after hearing all the rave reviews. plus, it was such a fun dish to make – i feel like i learned a lot!
I've been wanting to make this ever since I saw the movie!! Now, maybe I will. Your site looks great. I like how clean and simple it looks, very refreshing. I was going to ask for your granola bar recipe, but I see it on your sidebar..they look yummmmm.!
Wow… impressive Megan! I'd love to say I want to cook that myself, but really I just love that movie 🙂
AMAZING!! I have "the book" – I've had it forever and I can't bring myself to see the movie because I love Julia Child so much, I'm afraid I might just be mad at Meryl Streep for not being her. All my foodie friends have said I would be fine.. but I just don't know. I am so impressed, I haven't attempted this but I'm thrilled to read an account of someone who did. Looks incredible.
megan, thank you for your kind comment and for introducing me to your blog, lovely spot you have here! great recipes, and really beautiful pics. you'll be seeing more of me!
Looks like such a wonderful dinner! My mom helped me by washing dishes for my Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner back in October. So nice… Aren't moms great?
This looks so good, Megan. Thanks for sharing this post with me. I really want to try this recipe but I don't eat pork, I might try it with turkey bacon (what do you think)? My husband keeps saying he wants it with “real” bacon though.
I saw Julie and Julia recently and while surfing your blog I found this. I remember reading the post before, but since I saw the movie, I just have to say WOW! You did a great job and the food looks super delicious!
Emily – You are so sweet, thank you so much for your comment! 🙂
I found a crockpot version of this recipe and am making it today for my hubby’s birthday. Even it was a lot of prep work before putting it in the crock! Here’s where I found it: http://frugal-franny.blogspot.com/search/label/Beef%20Bourguignonne
I’m guessing serving it over egg noodles is ideal?
Thanks for sending that! I hope it turned out well for your husband’s birthday. I will have to try the slow cooker method next time 🙂
sorry forgot the egg noodle question. Yes, we served it over egg noodles which was great, but I don’t think you need to… not sure what else you would use though?