Saturday, July 14, 2012

Step By Step Boeuf Bourguignon

On my little white board in my kitchen, where I write my daily to-do lists and cross them off triumphantly as I finish each one, I've had "Step by Step" written for several days. Ever since I mentioned our anniversary dinner and promised a step by step how-to, I've looked at that board and ultimately found different topics to write about on the blog.

And also, every day that I've looked at that board, I have sung, "Step by step, day by day, fresh start over, different hand to play..." Do you remember that song? Awesome TV show. I miss TGIF.


And look at those outfits. Seriously awesome.

Anyway, in an effort to stop annoying myself with this song, I need to cross the damn thing off my list. To do that, I need to provide a step-by-step post about Monday's boeuf bourguignon.

But first, let's chat about today's adventures. Terry and I enjoyed oatmeal this morning before heading out on a hike. We found a 7-mile up-and-back trail in Pacific Palisades that looked promising, so I was excited.

Easy? Not so much.

View from the top. 

This hike absolutely kicked my butt! We were moving pretty quickly (3.5-4.5 mph), but I wasn't expecting to be panting and sweating the entire time. But we did it. All the way to the top. Sadly, the marine layer didn't burn off completely, but we still loved the views and thought the hike was fantastic. I'll be feeling that one tomorrow--and for three days after that, no doubt.

We stopped at Bruhaus on the way home for a quick lunch and were actually a little disappointed. They have tons of beer on tap, which is great, but they were out of the one I wanted. What good is good selection if you can't serve it? The food looked really creative, but my pastrami turned out to have more cole slaw than pastrami--and more mayo than cole slaw. Terry's BLAT looked very good, though. We were on the fence about whether or not we'd try it again.

After a shower and some lazing around the house, I convinced Terry that we really should do an upper body workout. We compromised by making it super quick--seriously, we were in and out of the gym in 15 minutes!--but still very challenging.

We're already both feelin' the burn on that one!

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...

Boeuf Bourguignon by Julia Child
From The Way to Cook

Not gonna lie: This recipe takes awhile. The prep took about 75 minutes, and then it had to stew for another 2-3 hours. But for a special occasion or rainy day, it's an excellent choice.

Assemble the ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds boneless beef stew meat cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup sliced carrot
  • one bottle red zinfandel
  • 2-3 cups beef broth
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 whole unpeeled tomato, cored and chopped
  • 28-ounce can of Italian plum tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 package of frozen pearl onions
  • 2 cups quartered button mushrooms
I got about 4.5 pounds of beef stew meat at Costco

Step 1: Brown the meat in a little bit of cooking oil or olive oil. Dry the meat before you  cook it; otherwise it won't brown.  Turn the meat to all sides. Brown in batches so that you don't crowd the meat. 

As they are browned, transfer each piece into the Dutch oven or large pot.
 Step 2: Safely discard all but one spoonful of fat/oil out of the pan. Add the carrots and saute (ignore the onions in this photo - they come later). Add the veggies to the pot with the beef.

Step 3: Add one cup of beef broth or wine to the frying pan and scrape up the browned bits in the pan. If something looks burnt, discard it. 

Step 4: Add the garlic, liquid from the pan, 4 more cups of liquid (all the wine , then supplement with the broth), tomatoes (I smashed some of the plum tomatoes), thyme, and salt to the pot. 

Step 5: Your liquid should just cover the beef.  Bring to simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beef is fork tender. 
Step 6: With 30 minutes to go on the stew (or 30 minutes before you want to serve), cook the onions and mushrooms. Heat the same frying pan you used before over medium heat and add a little beef broth (or take a few spoonfuls of liquid from the stew). Add the onions and mushrooms and saute for 20-25 minutes, until tender. If anything starts to smoke, add more liquid and reduce the heat. 

Step 7: To finish the stew, smash the butter and flour into a paste and add to the stew.

Step 8: Add the onions and mushrooms to the stew. Simmer for a few minutes before serving. 
I served the stew with simply boiled potatoes, but you can choose any simple side: buttered noodles, crusty bread, rice.

Serve and enjoy!

Phenomenal. Julia nailed it!

In Paris, Terry and I enjoyed the greatest meal we've ever had; my dish was boeuf bourguignon. While I still think the Parisian "real thing" was better, this version came pretty damn close. 100% worth the effort, 100% worth the time to taste something so yummy and to see the look on my husband's face when he tried it. 


  1. hahaha, now i've got the step-by-step song stuck in my head. thanks a lot! we loved that show when we were little - almost as much as full house!

    your boeuf bourguingnon looks great!!! i'll have to remember that for the next time i make a fancy meal that takes more than 20 minutes to throw together. :)

  2. WOW that looks amazing. i love photo-essay style recipe recreations, especially when they come out so delicious looking. looks like it was totally worth it for a romantic date night in :)

  3. I am totally going to make this for an upcoming special event...I'll let you know how it goes! : )