Well, it took me a while, but I went ahead and made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Anyone who has seen the movie Julie & Julia knows the central role given to this hearty beef stew—it’s shown being made 3 or 4 times by several different characters.
So Saturday, with an autumn nip in the air, I tackled this iconic dish (only my second from the book). Despite all my preparation and patience, I finished the recipe cursing and an hour later than I expected to have it on the table. (I even kicked the dog at one point, although that was inadvertent. Mostly.)
The recipe is not difficult, but it does fill the sink with a plethora of pans, skillets, bowls and sieves, and ends up spattering the stove (and floor) pretty spectacularly.
All of which was forgotten with the first taste of this magnificently complex sauce. I grew up with beef stew and have always found it a comfort-food fave, but this Boeuf Bourguignon is truly in another class. I attribute its remarkable depth to the bottle of red wine used to cook the beef, the nearly 1/2 pound of bacon included and the three-hour cooking time. All worth it. And a reminder of the rewards from revisiting the classics.