I’m quite certain that almost everyone has seen Julie & Julia. I have. It was a great movie. It was well done, and made me pine for France. I was there for a total of 5 days this summer and I fell in love. If there’s one country I want to revisit and spend a lot of time in, it’s France. I loved the rest of our European trip too, but France is so special. The movie made me want to go back and live there. Maybe one day, you never know!
It’s fitting that I am cooking a French meal on Tuesday, the day I teach 1 hour of French. I teach half an hour to the grade ones and twos, and then half an hour to my grade threes and fours. “Bonjour mes amies, bonjour….” is what we sang today!
I didn’t really know a lot about Julia Child before watching the movie. Currently, I am listening to her autobiography My Life in France on my iPod. It’s completely fascinating! Her zest for life and love for cooking is inspiring! I love to cook, but trying mayonnaise many times, just to get it right, sounds a bit crazy to me (ok, well, I was obsessed with making homemade mayo for a few weeks last year, but that’s beside the point!). I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking on order from the used bookstore (I don’t really want to pay full price for it), and maybe once I get it, I will learn a lot more about her, and begin telling you what I learn. But for now, Julie & Julia was the reason I made Beef Bourguignon tonight.
By the way, I got three new cookbooks in the mail today! So exciting! A slow cooker cookbook, and two bread making cookbooks. Yum! Plus, the tip had broken on my Pampered Chef Santoku knife, so I had sent it back to be replaced. I got it back today! It is even more beautiful than the knife I had. I cannot wait to try it again! I got an 8″ Chef’s Knife (double Henkels, 4 star) for Christmas from my mother-in-law and it is amazing!
Because of a short time in between getting home and running out for a meeting tonight, I decided to make dinner in the slow cooker. The meeting got cancelled, but that’s beside the point! So, I got everything together last night and throw it into my slow cooker and refrigerated it overnight. This recipe was great! The husband loved it! So much rich flavour, yum! I served it with a baguette (bought form Safeway), but tonight I learned that beef bourguignon is served with buttered noodles (according to Julia Child). The noodles may have been nice, but a crusty baguette with butter is definitely pretty incredible as well. I certainly did not feel like I was missing anything.
One note: if you open a can of tomato paste, and don’t know what to do with the rest, freeze it! I threw mine into a ziploc bag (took it out of the can, first!) and put it in the freezer. It’ll stay good for a while and you can toss it into your pasta sauce, chili or anything else that’s tomato based!
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
recipe adapted from goodbite.com
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
3 lbs rump roast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes (I used an inside round roast, worked out great!)
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup brandy
1-1/4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 lb small white onions (after reading more, we realized this meant pearl onions, but we used 2 regular onions, cut into chunks. It was fine. Maybe not quite Julia Child authentic, but good nonetheless!)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.
Season beef with salt and pepper. Put it in the pan and sprinkle with flour. Brown on all sides in the bacon drippings. I would brown the beef in batches. Mine was overcrowded, causing it to release a lot of moisture. If you brown in batches, throw all meat back into pan. Turn off heat and add brandy. Mix, turn heat back on and add beef broth, stirring to get up all of the meaty goodness from the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until thickened.
Transfer to slow cooker. If you are refrigerating overnight, I would let it cool a bit, then add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.
The Hungry Teacher