Sunday, August 16, 2009

With a nod of thanks to Julia

Surely she would say a cook must adapt to circumstances, and thus my deviation from Julia Child's instructions for Boeuf Bourguignon.

Julia's recipe calls for the main part of the cooking to occur in the oven, in a "fireproof" casserole dish with a cover. Not possessing one, I kept it on the stove-top, using my heavy steel soup pot.

Could that be why the sauce did not thicken as Julia says it should and as we have experienced with the real deal at more than one Paris bistro?

Nevertheless, it was a major hit in my household. My wife and No. 1 fan very happily declared it my "best ever" cooking effort. I might not go that far, but it came close to Julia's description of Boeuf Bourguignon in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" -- "Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man ... "

After it stewed for 2 1/2 hours on the stove top, I boiled potatoes and pearl onions and added them to the mix for a final 20-30 minutes.

And, there are leftovers, which will taste even better tomorrow.

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