Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boeuf Bourgignon

---My first venture into Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The best description of the product is an exquisite stew.

This recipe was very labor intensive. I started by reading the recipe the night before and writing a grocery shopping list. First thing in the morning I was off to the grocery store. The damage for the ingredients was somewhere around $20 and it serves 6, which figures to about $3.33 per serving. So, it’s on the pricey end of a home cooked meal.

Later in the day when the children were down for naps I began prepping and cooking. By the time I started cooking I had read the recipe about seven times. It took that many times to simply comprehend all the tasks I had to complete. During the cooking I had to read the recipe a few more times. There were a lot of steps. After properly preparing the ingredients I had to sauté every thing in order to seal in the flavor.

Two hours later it was ready to go into the pot to simmer for four hours. Our friend of ours called to invite us for dinner. We had not seen her in a while so we accepted her gracious invitation. I turned down the temperature on the pot. Seven hours later (oops, too long), I had a somewhat overcooked, but still incredibly delicious stew. According to Julia, it will only be better tomorrow. I believe it. I tried it an hour after putting it into the refrigerator and it was fabulous.

Ten point scale ratings:

Degree of difficulty: 8

Degree of labor intensity: 8

Degree of Kitchen Carnage: 7.5

Likelihood of making it again: It’s complicated. At first I thought it felt like I might only try this on special occasions, but now that I am more familiar with the recipe and execution I feel I am may be able to accomplish it with more ease.

My Execution of this recipe: 5 - Yes, I made some substitutions. I didn't have a casserole large enough to fit the whole recipe, so I put it in my slow cooker and cooked it there instead the oven. There were too many veggies and not enough time, so I didn't saute the mushrooms. I used regular sliced bacon instead huge chunks. I used medium onion instead of small.

Degree of deliciousness: In comparison to you average "Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book" Stew MtAoFC Stew is a 10.

Notes: For mum’s with many kids running about, I think that this recipe could be done in stages—day one: shopping, day two: cutting, day three: cooking.

Did I mention once the beef made it into the pot for hours of stewing, what followed was an accidental nap with Kristiana. I never nap, but after all that work it just happened.

Next up, Coq a Vin.
Perfect day for cooking stew--Raining

Step One: Braised Onions

Step 18: Dry Beef with paper towels. (Who knew they had paper towels in 1961)

Step 21: Saute beef in almost smoking fat. Oops, mine actually smoked.

Step 22: Add to already sauteed bacon chunks

Step 25: chop veggies

Step 45: Add sauteed veggies to braised onions

Kitchen Carnage

Boeuf Bourgignon: Bon Apetit!


Michelle M. said...

Good work! The major thing that disinterests me with MtAoFC is all the work and time involved. I am a 30 minutes OR LESS kind of cook (unless it is in a crockpot). I just can't see myself investing that much time into cooking, even though I do love it and I am sure it would turn out amazing.

So do you plan to try anymore of the recipes??

Kayleen said...

Note to self- don't read Renee's blog when hungry :) The first time I read this post was last night and those pictures were literally making my mouth water. Looks like you did a good job! Unfortunately my husband is pretty darn picky (as you can tell by the title of his blog) so our meals are generally pretty simple. But there is a croc-pot cook off at our church next month so maybe I'll try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!