Technically J-Cat ate it, for our last dinner in Paris at "Josephine" Chez Dumonet. But obviously I had a few bites. With the weather getting chillier by the day, it's time to break out my favorite types of foods - slow-cooked, hearty, warming, intensely flavored, meaty.
There are thousands of recipes for Boeuf Bourguignon out there, ranging from the straightforward to the excessively complicated. And here is where I am conflicted. I love to make dishes in the most authentic way possible. But I also love simplicity and dislike fussiness. So where to find the balance without sacrificing authenticity? When it comes down to it, a dish like Boeuf Bourguignon just doesn't seem like it should be so complicated. Complex in flavor, yes, but at it's roots a simple, rustic stew. So this recipe by Ginette Mathiot, the "French Julia Child", which was published a few weeks ago in The New York Times, seems to strike a nice balance. Authentic in that it is the version that a French cook would cook in their own home, not the complicated beast of a restaurant version popularized by Julia Child. Both recipes authentic in their own way, and both yielding a more than satisfying result. Recipe after the jump:
Adapted from "I Know How to Cook" by Ginette Mathiot
1 tablespoon oil
3 ounces onions or shallots, chopped
3 1/2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces, patted dry
Scant 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups any type of stock, hot
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 sprigs parsley, tied together)
3 1/2 ounces mushrooms, diced
1. In a heavy pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and bacon and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove them and set aside; leave fat in pan.
2. Add beef and brown on all sides (work in two batches if needed to avoid crowding).
3. Sprinkle browned beef with flour, stir until browned and add stock. Stir, scraping bottom of pan, then add reserved bacon and onions, the wine and bouquet garni. Season with pepper.
4. Simmer very gently for 2 hours.
5. Add mushrooms and cook 30 minutes more. Season with salt and serve. Or, even better, reheat and serve the next day.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.