Monday, August 24, 2009

Boeuf Bourgignon

Just like everyone else who saw the movie "Julie and Julia," I had an irresistible craving to make Boeuf Bourgignon afterward. It was so very satisfying to watch a movie about cooking and a cookbook, specifically about two women who take a ridiculous amount of time to cook amazingly decadent things to eat and each write a book about it. Meryl Streep is fun to watch and she is obviously having fun, too; I think she must be more like Julia Child than Julia Child was. And the 1950s French interiors and dresses are to die for.
I don't have Mastering the Art of French Cooking, although I did have one within hands' reach at my mother-in-law's house this weekend. (She said the recipes had too many steps.) I decided not to ask to borrow it because I didn't really need to make Julia's Boeuf Bourgignon. I was quite happy to make Mark Bittman's simplified version from his cookbook The Best Recipes in the World. It's a good recipe, with not too many steps. But no carrots! I missed the carrots.
It was delicious, but it didn't rock my world. I do like beef stew but I think I like it with more vegetables in it (especially tomatoes) and no so much, well, beef. My husband liked it and I liked it and one teenage boy liked it. The other didn't. The Boeuf Bourgignon made me remember a similar beef stew that my dad used to make that was really good. I'll have to ask him about that one.
I love it that Mastering is selling out all over the country. I wonder how many people will actually cook anything in it, besides the Boeuf Bourgignon, of course. Boeuf Bourgignon is brown food, so it doesn't photograph too well. That white sphere is a pearl onion.

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