Have you seen “ Julie & Julia” ? – a 2009 American comedy-drama film starring Meryl Streep as “The French Chef” Julia Child. The movie contrasts the life of chef Julia Child with the life of a young New Yorker, Julie.
Julia is in the early years of her culinary career during the 50’s in Paris. She attends Le Cordon Bleu and begins collaborating on a book about French cooking for American housewives.
Julie, who is a young writer with an unpleasant job in a call center, dreams of doing something she enjoys. She decides to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in one year; while at the same time writing a blog to keep her motivated and document her progress.
Julie’s challenge is to cook all 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook in 365 days. Eventually her blog is featured in a story published in The New York Times and her project begins to receive the attention of journalists, literary agents, publishers, even a dismissive response from Child herself!
I totally enjoyed this movie and loved both characters. Julia is fearless, passionate and expresses good cheer and a satisfaction in life that everyone can feel. I appreciate Julie’s determination, but would never consider cooking a task, rather keeping it an enjoyable pleasant experience.
The story is less about food as something to cook and eat, and more about it being the binding and unifying element of dinner parties, friendship, and marriage. Food is never the main course, it is more like a perpetual appetizer.
I decided to try the Beef Bourguignon recipe right after I watched the movie in 2011. It was the first French dish I had ever tried, and the feedback was pretty positive. Beef Bourguignon sounds French, romantic and exotic. It looks delicious but at the same time a bit challenging. When Chef Dave asked me which recipe I would like to try first, this one came to my mind immediately! It’s a great recipe for a family dinner especially on a cold winter evening.
Here is Chef Dave’s simplified Beef Bourguignon recipe, if you check the original Julia Child’s recipe, there are 45 steps in total!
Beef Bourguignon Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 oz bacon diced
2 lbs stewing beef cut into cubes
1 carrot cut on bias
4 shallots bias cut
15 pearl onions
4 garlic cloves minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
16 oz dry red wine
3 cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon tomato product
2 bay leaves
1 cup mushrooms quatered
1 Tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350 F and a burner on medium heat. In a heavy skillet add olive oil and brown the bacon.
Next season the beef and dredge with flour.
Add the butter to skillet then beef and sauté until browned evenly.
Add the carrots, mushrooms, shallots and onions and cook until tender.
Add tomato, thyme and garlic and cook until aromatic.
Deglaze with wine then add the stock.
Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer on the stove.
Next cover the skillet and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours until beef is tender.
Have you ever tried Beef Bourguignon before? share with us your experience….