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Beef Bourguignon Revisited

Image 2-1-15 at 7.16 PMWhen I first watched the Movie “Julie and Julia”, I knew I had to make Julia Child’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon.  I did make it and several times since (and blogged it in 2010), but I wanted to update the recipe and streamline the steps to make it even easier for myself (and others) to follow.  Today, I made this recipe for my husband’s birthday.  His birthday is not until Tuesday, however this recipe is not one to put together on a busy day – it demands 2 1/2 to 3 hours of cooking and about an hour in prep time.  There are a lot of steps to this dish, but it is well worth the effort.

Notes:  There are two sub recipes that go into this recipe that can be made ahead.  They are listed first. Baby onions are NOT the pearl onions (the size of marbles), I made this mistake they are about 1 inch in diameter.  I peeled double the amount and they are quite tedious when you use the pearl onions – save yourself!  If you have a large enameled cast iron pot (6 1/2 quart Le Creuset works great for me) it would be ideal, but you can use a heavy bottomed oven safe pot with a tight fitting lid instead.  It is important to dry the meat before you sear it, and important to not over-crowd the pot while browning the meat (and mushrooms).  I usually cook about 7 to 10 pieces at a time.

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Serves 6 adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking p 315

Sub-recipe: Braised Baby Onions

  • (18-24) 1 inch white onions, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • sprigs of fresh parsley
  • sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions for Braised Baby Onions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Heat butter and canola oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until the butter is melted and bubbles a bit.  Add the peeled onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring them gently, so as not to break up the onion skin, until they are lightly browned.  Transfer the onions to a small baking dish and add the beef broth and sprigs of parsley and thyme.  Roast the onions in the oven for 40-50 minutes, turning them once.  Remove herbs.  Set aside until needed (after cooking the Beef Bourguignon)

Sub-recipe: Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, clean and dry, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Instructions for Sauteed Mushrooms

Place skillet (same one you used for onions) over high heat and heat butter and oil.  Once the foam from the butter subsides, saute the mushrooms in small batches about 4 to 5 minutes per batch.  Remove the cooked mushrooms to a bowl and set aside until needed.  Repeat with mushrooms until all are browned.

Beef Bourguignon

  • 8 oz thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 to 4 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of large pieces of fat and cut into 2 inch pieces, blotted dry with paper towels
  • 6 large carrots, peeled, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Chianti work nicely)
  • 4 cups beef broth (or more if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • and sub-recipes for onions and mushrooms (as prepared above)

Instructions for Beef Bourguignon:

In a large heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, saute the bacon in 1 tablespoon of canola oil, until it is browned and crispy.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.

Turn the heat up to high and brown your pieces of meat, in batches, in the rendered bacon fat, turning them over to brown other sides until you have a nice crust.  Remember not to crowd the meat, or it will not brown properly. Repeat until all your meat is nicely browned.  Remove the meat to a medium bowl.

Brown the onion slices and chunks of carrot in the same bacon drippings.  Pour off any excess bacon fat (though I rarely have any).

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Add the bacon and beef to the carrots and sliced onions you just browned.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper and combine.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the beef and toss to coat the mixture.  Place the pot (uncovered) in the preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes.  Remove from oven, toss again and return to oven for an additional 4 minutes.  Remove the pot from the oven and place back on the burner, over medium heat.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Add the red wine into your beef and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.  Add 4 cups of beef broth (or as much as you need to cover the beef completely). Add tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine.  Bring the stew to a near boil.  Turn off your burner.  Place a lid on your pot and transfer to the oven.  Allow to braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring once half way through.

Remove the beef and carrots to a large bowl.  Pour your broth through a colander into a 4 cup capacity gravy separator.  Allow the gravy to separate and skim off the excess fat. Adjust the seasoning of the broth (add salt if necessary) – I rarely need to do so.

Clean your pot and return the beef and carrots back to the pot.  Add your baby onions and mushrooms and stir to combine (if you made them ahead and refrigerated them, reheat them in the microwave before adding).

Serve with cooked baby potatoes,  egg noodle pasta, or steamed rice and green veggies.  Pour the gravy over the Beef Bourguignon and enjoy!

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It is my blogging Anniversary!

Becky at Peohe’s in San Diego, which inspired the Avocado-Mango Salsa Stack

In October 2008 I posted my very first blog entry on http://www.goodcookbecky.blogspot.com – which means that this is my 4 year Anniversary blogging — and my 200th post since moving my blog to wordpress in February of 2010!  Wow, time sure does fly.  I asked some of my friends what they wanted to see in my anniversary post and they made some suggestions.  Where was I when I started blogging?  Where to I intend to go from here on out? What are some of my favorite recipes?

What first led you to blogging?

I first created my blog to share my favorite recipes with friends.  I never really desired to be the top food blog, or to have it act as a source of income.  I wanted to keep my blog clean from ads, so I never added any advertisers.  I do however refer others to blogs that I also enjoy.  I used twitter briefly to try to attract more foot traffic, but in the end it did not matter to me how many people came to my page.  I have seen my readership grow though, and it has been interesting to me what subjects or searches draw people to my blog.  Mostly though, I was just wanting to share my cooking with friends. It has been fun to see the amount of visitors grow from a few hundred hits in the first year to now having had 28,000+ hits! 🙂

The movie, Julie and Julia inspired me to be more consistent in blogging.  I had already blogged some by the time the movie came out, but it inspired me to do more of it. And it inspired me to tackle a recipe that had been on my bucket list of cooking: Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon!  I made it several times since… as a matter of fact, my son who is now 9 years old asked for it for his 6th Birthday!  And he pronounced it like Julia Child would have, which further cracked us up!

Food that I have had at restaurants have made me seek to try various things – for instance the Avocado Mango Salsa Stack was a result of such – it was inspired by a Chart House Restaurant in San Diego, CA.

What are some of your favorite recipes that you have posted?

Well, this is a longer response.

TOP APPETIZERS:

Amuse-Gueule Au Roquefort (Julia Child recipe for a blue cheese ball appetizer- one of the best I have ever had)

Tomato-Parmesan Appetizer

Cheesy Sausage Dip (great with a sliced fresh French Baguette- no picture but a great dip)

Avocado Mango Salsa Stack (served with Tortilla chips)

Southwest Egg Rolls (like those served at popular restaurants- for that super bowl party)

Hot Buttered Pretzels

BEST USE OF LEFTOVERS:

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

Chicken A La King (or use Turkey)

BEST COPYCAT:

Whiskey Chicken

Boston Market Meatloaf

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Asian Onion Soup

RECIPES OF CELEBRITY CHEFS:

Paula Deen’s Jacket Potatoes with Bacon and Mushroom Sauce

Ina’s Chicken Piccata

Ina Garten’s Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Ina Garten’s Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

Wolfgang Puck’s Beef Goulash

Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese

Cat Cora’s Avgolemono Soup

FAVORITE CROCK POT RECIPES:

Slow Cooked Swiss Steak

Hawaiian Chicken

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD:

Pepperoni Calzones

American Chop Suey

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Baked Ziti

BEST BREAKFAST RECIPES:

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Apple Muffins

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast (or Strawberry French Toast)

Pumpkin Waffles

FAVORITE KID FOOD:

Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites

Angels on Horseback

FAVORITE SANDWICHES:

Gyros

Cajun Chicken Club Sandwiches

FAVORITE SALADS:

Italian-Style Pasta Salad

Frieda’s Coleslaw

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato

FAVORITE CHICKEN RECIPES:

Basil Cream Chicken

Chicken Piccata

FAVORITE SOUPS:

Avgolemono Soup

Asian Onion Soup

BEST COOKIE OR BAR:

Hazelnut Chewies (made with Nutella)

Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

Hazelnut-Lemon Curd Cookies

Lemon Bars

EASIEST FAVORITES:

Hawaiian Chicken

Salmon Cakes

Slow Cooked Baby-back Ribs (in oven)

BEST GERMAN FAVORITES: (see my German Food Tab)

Marillenknoedel

Apfelstrudel

Wienerschnitzel

Rahmschnitzel

German Beef Rouladen

German Red Cabbage

Semmelknoedel

Buttered Potatoes

Wolfgang’s Beef Goulash and Spaetzle (Wolfgang Puck)

MOST INVOLVED: but it is worth the effort

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Apple Strudel

Where do you see yourself going in the next 200 posts?

I would like to incorporate more Germanic foods into my blog.  These would be recipes that I have translated into English from various cookbooks that I own.

I hope to lose some weight- it has become a curse to be a good cook.  My husband and I both face some serious health issues that we need to address with more healthy eating.  And eating like the recipes on this blog will not aid in that too much!

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary next March – we will take our family to Maui for a week to celebrate this event.  Later in the summer we will be traveling to NJ to visit my parents, who will celebrate their 50th Year of marriage.  Good stuff!

Thank you readers for reading my blog and cheering me on.  Okay, that is a lot of recipes… what are my absolute top favorites?

Chicken Piccata, Hazelnut Chewies, Basil Cream Chicken, Cajun Chicken Club Sandwiches and Italian Style Pasta Toss.  For the kids, even the pickiest guest I have had likes Aunt Nancy’s Chicken Bites.  It is a much healthier option to chicken nuggets.  I hope you learn to love some of these recipes as much as my family and I have and hope I have inspired you to cook for your loved ones.


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Cajun Chicken Pasta

This recipe is both easy to prepare and easy to eat! My husband and I love the balance of spices.  I think it is well worth buying the Konriko brand Creole Seasoning to make this dish.  I posted information about it on my previous entry.  It used to be available in the grocery stores, but lately I can only find them online.

The recipe calls for linguine pasta, but any pasta will do.  We find the Penne pasta to be the easiest to pick up and eat and Barrilla’s penne has ridges so the sauce stick to it a bit and it quite good.  I found this recipe in an old Taste of Home Magazine.  They had a column called “I wish I had that Recipe” that featured a recipe of a restaurant.  It truly is a favorite of ours.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Cajun Chicken Pasta – Taste of Home Magazine
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 large Chicken Breast halves — cut into strips
  • 2 tsp. Cajun or Creole Seasoning (Konriko brand Creole seasoning is wonderful)
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 8 slices Green Pepper
  • 8 slices Red Bell Pepper
  • 4 large Mushrooms  — sliced
  • 1 green Onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 tsp. dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp. Lemon Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Pepper
  • 4 ounces Linguine — cooked and drained (or other pasta)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
Place chicken strips and Cajun/Creole seasoning in a bowl or resealable plastic bag; toss or shake to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat; saute chicken in butter until almost tender about 5-7 minutes.  Add peppers, mushrooms and green onion; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat.  Add cream and seasonings; heat through.  Add linguine and toss, heating through.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy (I usually double the recipe and have left overs).  This recipe serves two, but you may increase it to the size of your family.

I usually prepare a separate batch of chicken without Creole seasoning for my kids who do not like spicy foods too much, but every family is different.

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Warm Italian-Style Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

I originally found a recipe in “Taste of Home” Magazine that was an Italian Pasta, but I accidentally heated it up the first time I made and we discovered we loved it that way.  Plus it had grated carrots in the original and we didn’t like it.. so a few changes later it is mine!

Italian Style Pasta Salad
Serves 6
Ingredients

  • 14 1/2    ounces Tomatoes, with garlic and onion — canned
  • 16    ounces    Caesar Dressing — Marie’s is good
  • 2        Onions, Green — thinly sliced
  • 15    ounces    Artichokes, Canned — hearts, cut up
  • 20    ounces    Tortellini pasta, Cheese — refrigerated
  • 1    medium    Green Pepper — chopped
  • 6    ounces    Olives, Ripe — drained, pitted
  • 3    ounces    Pepperoni — sliced, mild
  • 1/2    cup    Cheese, Parmesan — shredded

Instructions

In a 13x9x2 inch baking dish combine first 7 ingredients.  Add cooked tortellini pasta and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and heat at 325° F for 30 minutes.

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Basil Cream Chicken

Basil Cream Chicken is one of our families favorite recipes. I enjoy making it and everyone, especially my husband enjoys it. It is fairly easy to make too which is nice.

The recipe for this delightful dish is:

Basil Cream Chicken

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs ( I like Progresso Italian)
  • 4 chicken breast halves, cut into smaller pieces to ensure it is cooked through)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (not whipped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peppers (from jar is great)
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus extra to serve)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl. Put seasoned bread crumbs in another bowl.

Dip the chicken pieces first in the egg mixture and then coat in bread crumbs.

Breaded chicken

Melt butter in a large stainless steel saucepan

Melted Butter

Fry the chicken pieces until golden brown turning once over medium high heat, until juices run clear.

Transfer the chicken to a glass dish and keep them warm (I usually have the oven temperature at 275F until the rest of the meal is finished.

Add chicken broth and loosen browned bits from the pan with a whisk.

Add your heavy cream and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute.

Add parmesan cheese

and chopped basil and roasted peppers

Heat just until heated through and season with black pepper.

Transfer the warm chicken breast halves to a platter

Ladle sauce over the chicken.

I serve this with cooked pasta and serve extra basil cream sauce for the pasta and top with additional parmesan cheese. Add a green salad and you have a meal. Add garlic bread and you have a feast!

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Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Chicken Soup

Strange name I know, it’s Greek and is a wonderful Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup.  I went to a ladies night out and a friend brought this soup to the event.  I went back for thirds and then took some home with me to share with my husband.  Delicious!  My kids all love it too and it is a frequent request now.  I make it about every other week now.  The recipe is from Cat Cora on the Food Network.  I made a few changes to suit my family’s tastes.

Just today my daughter announced that every Restaurant should have this recipe and serve it because she would order it every time!  It really is that good.  Do try it!

Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/avgolemono-chicken-soup-with-egg-lemon-sauce-recipe/index.html

Avgolemono: Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce – Cat Cora

  • 1 (3 pound) free range chicken
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 leek, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 2/3 cup Aborio rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

Place the chicken in a large pot with 2 quarts cold water, enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, skimming when necessary.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions. Sweat the onions until clear. Set aside.

When chicken is cooked through, remove from the broth. Let the chicken cool and pull the meat from the bones. Dice into large cubes. Set aside.

Add the onion, bay leaves, leek, and carrot to the broth and simmer for 1 hour. When finished, remove the carrot and leek from the broth and add the rice. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium high to simmer until the rice is cooked to al dente, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken back into the broth. Add more water if needed.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and lemon juice together. Pour 2 cups of broth slowly into the bowl of egg and lemon, whisking continuously. Once all the broth is incorporated, add the mixture into the pot of chicken soup and stir to blend well throughout. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Prep     10 min

Cook    3 hr 10 min

Total:     3 hr 20 min

Serves 8-10

Becky’s NOTES:

After I remove the carrots and leeks I chop the carrots into small pieces (last time I even squeezed them through my potato ricer) I add the carrots back into the soup with the chicken.  I do not add onions, my kids don’t care for the texture, but I do let them simmer in the broth with the leeks and carrots, but do not add them to the final product.  Very very yummy and fairly easy to make!  Do go out and buy some Aborio rice, it is perfect for this soup.

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