Beef Bourguignon and a Half Marathon!

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm sorry. I know I said I would be back last week. I lied.... I'm sorry I lied. But I'm officially back.

Just needed some time away, but I'm back and have a zillion recipes to share with you, have another giveaway coming up, a book review for an AWESOME book you'll want to check out, and a vacation recap! :)

For now, I'll give a quick run down of the half marathon. I finished!!! And I finished running the whole time! I didn't really have a huge time goal, but I just wanted to run the entire race. I joined something called a "pace team" which was so great for me. First of all because I couldn't find anyone to run with me (I can't imagine why no one wanted to run a half marathon?), so this gave me an automatic team at the start line of the race. Second, it set me up on a pace that I could keep with in order to keep running.

I just about died at mile 8.5, but having the team with me was great encouragement, and then I used one of those crazy, nasty, toothpaste textured Gu packets, and it was GOLD!!! 5 minutes later I felt like a new woman! So thankful for my pace team.

I made this goal to do this half several years ago, and it took me that long to get up the guts to do it, but SO glad I did!

To celebrate, and to top it off, I checked off two goals in one day by making Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon. I'm not going to lie, this is a dish that takes time, dedication, and attention - but boy oh boy is it worth it!!! The sauce for this is absolutely delectable. The perfect fall dish, made for cold nights sitting by the fire. But just know that it takes a few hours to make this (I'd say at least a good 3 hours), so it might be a good weekend dish. And it will feed a crowd, so plan for guests.... or leftovers.... or just stuff your face full of yummy stew!

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon (Adapted from Julia Child via Good Morning America)
  • 6-ounces bacon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 3 - 4 small white onions, quartered
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme)
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, fresh and quartered

  • Directions:
  • 1. Cut bacon into 1/2" thick strips and simmer in 1 1/2 quarts water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    3. Saute bacon in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole (or large stock pot) over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
    4. Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat remaining bacon fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, careful not to overcrowd pan, and saute until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon in side dish.

    5. Slice onion and carrots, and brown them in same fat from bacon and beef. Add garlic before completely browned (last 2 minutes). Drain excess fat.
    6. Return beef and bacon to pan with browned vegetables and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Then add the flour and toss to coat meat lightly. Set casserole in preheated over for 4 minutes. Toss meat again and return to oven for additional 4 minutes. Remove casserole and reduce heat of oven to 325.
    7. Stir in wine and 3 cups beef stock - enough to barely cover meat. Add tomato paste and herbs. Cover casserole and place in lower third of the oven. Allow to simmer ~ 1 1/2 hours or until fork pierces meat easily.
    8. While beef is cooking, prepare onions and mushrooms. Heat 1 1/2 Tbs. butter with 1/2 Tbs. oil in large skillet until bubbling. Add onions and saute over moderate heat for 10 minutes, rolling them so they brown as evenly as possible. Add 1/2 cup stock, salt, pepper to taste and herbs. Cover and simmer until liquid has evaporated - about 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and parsley and set onions aside.
    9. Heat remaining butter and oil in skillet, and add mushrooms. Toss 5-10 minutes until tender and browned and remove from heat - combine with onions.

    10. When meat is tender, remove from oven and drain contents into a sieve set over a saucepan. Return meat to casserole and place onions/mushrooms over top of meat.
    11. Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

    Mine wasn't thick enough, so I added a little cornstarch to a little of the sauce in a small bowl and stirred till smooth. Then added the cornstarch just a little at a time until desired thickness.

    Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with sauce several times. Serve in bowls with some warm, crusty bread.


    Emily October 18, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

    Looks amazing as always Rebekah!!

    The Power Family October 23, 2010 at 5:59 AM  

    Bon Appetit!! :) I got that cookbook for Christmas last year but have yet to use it...hubby has been gone since January...but we are almost down to 60 days left, so I will have to stir up some beef bourguignon when he gets back!! :)

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