Like so many food bloggers, I watched Julie and Julia. I will admit, as a child, I hated when my mom watched Julia Child. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, and heck, there was Nickelodeon to watch!
After watching this movie, I was inspired and knew I had to make this dish. I’ve been making it for a while now, but one of my blogger friends asked me to make this and show it step-by-step. Please realize that there is NO natural light in my kitchen, just in the dining area, so I did my best on the step-by step pictures!
I used a version found on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, because it was done in steps, which made it way easier! Thanks Joelen!
Oh, and yes, this stuff is amazing. If you have time and a devoted dish washer (yes, this uses a LOT of dishes), definitely make this!
Source: found on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, originally by Julia Child, mildly adapted by me
- 6 ounces bacon
- 3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 sliced large onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (used Merlot)
- 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- Bay leaf
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- 18 to 24 small white onions (white pearl onions)
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup wine (same type used in beef)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- salt and ground pepper
- 2 tsp. parsley
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Sauté the bacon in a dutch oven (no oil) over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. (The bacon will render and give off enough fat to cook with.) Remove the bacon from the pot and place in a bowl; set aside.
Dry the stewing beef in paper towels – it will not brown if it is damp. Add the beef, a few pieces at a time, to the dutch oven to cook in the rendered bacon fat. Sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and add it to the bacon in the bowl; set aside.
If the bacon fat has been absorbed by sauteing the beef at this point, feel free to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In the pot, brown the carrots and onions.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the flour over the meat in the pot and toss everything in the pot to coat the beef lightly with the flour. On the stovetop, heat the pot for about 2-3 minutes to lightly cook off some of the flour.
To the pot, stir in the wine along with the stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to simmer on top of the stove.
Then cover the pot and set in lower third of preheated oven. Allow the pot to braise very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
I decided to stop here for the evening and let the beef cool for an hour or so out of the oven and then refrigerate overnight. It’s a good stopping point and you can resume with the onions or mushrooms. OR, if you are ambitious, do these vegetables while the beef is in the oven.
For the onions – place the peeled onions in a skillet with the butter and sear them until they start to brown, move to a medium saucepan, adding the wine, water and herbs. Saute on low for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the mushrooms – place butter in the same skillet used to prepare the onions. Saute the mushrooms in the butter until they start to brown. Remove from the skillet and set them aside to cool.
After the meat is braised in the oven or brought back up to temperature on a stovetop, remove and strain the beef and vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl; set aside. With the remaining sauce left in the pot, allow it to simmer. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down rapidly to reduce and thicken. If it’s too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning.
At this point, return the beef and vegetables to the thickened sauce, along with the caramelized pearl onions and mushrooms. Gently heat everything over a medium low heat and then serve with egg noodles, rice or potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.