Ever since Amy Adams so adorably said “boeuf bourguignon” in the movie Julie and Julia, I set my mind on one day making it myself.
Here was a movie about a book about a blog (say that three times) from a writer who turned thirty and discovered the joys of cooking with a childhood hero. And here I am, three years later (yup, it took me a while), a blogger who likes books and movies, who turned thirty (one), and still discovering the joys of cooking.
I mean, there’s some parallelism there, right?
I do have some things in common with Julie Powell, the author of Julie and Julia and Cleaving: we both love butter and beef liver and chocolate in all forms. But I did not grow up watching Julia Child on TV (I have a different hero) and I most certainly do not rely on just one cookbook alone for an entire year.
And If I had to that – cook every recipe from an entire cookbook for an entire year – I will most probably choose a cookbook by Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa. I’ve prepared many of her dishes and have always been happy with the results.
So when the time finally came for me to make Boeuf Bourgignon, I decided to nix the Julia Child recipe and went with Beef Bourgignon ala Ina Garten
Ina Garten’s recipe was supposed to take just a couple of hours but I gave myself almost double the time (I’ve learned from experience to allow myself extra time when trying a new recipe for the first time), which turned out to be a wise decision because I ran into a few delays: dropping bowls by mistake and shattering them, knocking over a salt crock onto my hardwood floor, cutting myself. You know, random graceful things that usually happen to me.
I only made a few of changes to the recipe: I omitted the cognac because I sadly didn’t have any, I cooked it in the oven at 325 F (instead of 250 F), and I added the frozen pearl onions about an hour after everything went into the oven, because I wanted to make sure they were thoroughly cooked and softened.
This boeuf bourgignon was a main entree I served during my small birthday dinner, and my friends and I loved it. It got really thick, and the lean stew meat tasted like tender, wine-braised, pieces of steak.
I served it with egg noodles tossed in a little bit of olive oil and butter, salt, pepper, and shredded parsley. I made some roasted brussels sprouts on the side too, and served everything with Jam Jar sweet shiraz.
For appetizers that night, I made some pimiento cheese, and set out a wedge of aged gouda, with a little jar of hot pepper jelly, mini pita rounds, and plain kettle cooked potato chips. And for dessert, we had the best birthday cake.
You can find the recipe for Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon here and for Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourgignon here.
It was one of the longer (step-wise and time-wise) recipes I’ve ever made but I have to say that the end result was very rewarding. I waited so long to make this because I was intimidated by the long ingredient list and the long prep time, but it was all worth it and it actually was not hard to make at all! Just lots of steps, but fairly easy.
I think Julie, Julia, and Ina should be proud, as am I!
Have you been inspired by a movie to try a new recipe? Tell me about it in the comments section!