12 June 2009

Dinner and a Movie!

Bienvenue a Tulsa! I decided to take Sabine's advice and watch Amelie (better known as Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain ). And to make the night even better, I decided to have a French feast. Boef Bourguignon, a baguette with butter, and a glass of wine. What could be better?
My day had started off decently. I actually got to learn something new at work which is always great, and the day went by pretty quickly. When I texted my friend to see if he was still coming over for dinner, my day started to go downhill. Daniel wasn't going to be coming over to enjoy my very first Friday Dinner and a Movie night which meant I was going to be alone. Normally I don't have a problem spending a quiet Friday night alone, but for whatever reason, I was bummed. I decided right then that Amelie would be my ticket back to happy town (this is the movie that started my love of garden gnomes).
For those who've never seen the movie, it's a great little film with an almost fairytale like quality. I don't know how to describe it. It just has that je ne sais quoi that makes it so special (it really is one of my all-time faves).
Considering how many ingredients the recipe I followed seemed to require, it really is simple. You even get to use fire! Any recipe that lets me flambe something is okay in my book. I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa's Barefoot in Paris. It's a great cookbook with some fun recipes. I had considered introducing France to Ireland by adding potatoes, but I think I did the right thing by staying true to the recipe (although I did omit the mushrooms).

When all was said and done, my mood was definitely lifted. I feel better, and my belly is full of yummy food. The only thing that could make this better is if I could have shared it with you, dear readers. I hope that if you do decide to try out the recipe, you'll think of me. Enjoy!

Boef Bourguignon
Recipe by Ina Garten, adapted by me

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir (I actually buy the cheapest bottle I can find; it still tastes good)
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
  3. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
  4. Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork (just an FYI, I didn't cook mine in the oven because it was too hot and it still came out great on the stove top).
  5. Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions.
  6. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste. Serve with buttered bread and a salad if desired.

P.S. Have you checked out Sabine's blog and Etsy shop yet? Trust me when I say it's worth it (I own several things from her shop now, and they are all fabulous)! You can get to her blog here and her shop here.


Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

lovely lovely Katrina .... thnaks for your kind words !!! the boeuf bourguignon is to die for , it looks exactly like my grand mother's one :) she was not a "purist" and she used to add potatoes too :)

I wanted to watch amelie poulain ( I have it on DVD ) , once again, to be in "phase" with you but we had some unexpected (but always welcome) friends ...

which wine did you opt for finally ??


Sunshine said...

Sabine - I'm glad to hear that it looks like your grandmere's (is this Madeleine?). I really should have done the potatoes thinking about it now just because it would have been perfect. My liquor store didn't have the wine you suggested, so I asked my buddy to point me in the direction of a fruity white. I ended up with one made from the same grapes as Asti (my favorite sparkling). It was good, a nice finish to it all.