Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday & Boeuf Bourguignon

Four favorite Julia cookbooks from my collection
Today would be Julia Child's 100th birthday, she is by far my all time favorite's chef!  She literally wrote the book on cooking ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

One of my signed books from 1996
I am "triple lucky"  - is that possible?  I was lucky enough to meet Julia at a book signing many years ago where she signed my cookbooks, and all I remember is how sweet and how kind she was to me!

A few Julia books in my kitchen bookcase
Below is Julia's most famous recipe, and I have to tell you, it's easy, easy, easy to make!  I've made it several times!  I hope you enjoy it!

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The ingredients and directions make this recipe look daunting, it's not!

6 ounces of bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef (cut into 2-inch cubes)
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 carrot (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)
3 cups full-bodied young red wine (like chianti)
2-3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
18 – 24 small white onions (brown-braised in stock) (I buy the frozen pearl and let them defrost)
1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms (sautéed in butter)
parsley sprigs

Remove rind from bacon and cut in sticks, 1/4 inch thick. Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Sauté the bacon in olive oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown slightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set pot aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.

Dry the beef in paper towels, it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced carrot and onion. Pour out the fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set pot uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. Remove pot, and turn oven down to 325F.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the pot and set in lover third of oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is sone when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the bee and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Serve immediately.

Two Years Ago
Here's a post I wrote about My favorite cook, Julia! when I first started blogging, what I loved most about going back and reading this post, are all the lovely comments from my friends!  

I continue to appreciate each of you, more than you know, and I look forward to continued friendship!  XO


  1. Oh, wow, how totally cool that you got to meet her, AND got her autograph. One change to that yummy recipe, though. You need at least FOUR cups of chianti. If you're gonna do it right, the cook must have a little bit of something-something to sip while she works.

  2. I took a class with Julia in San Diego eons ago. She inspired me with her ease in the kitchen. She made a mistake in the number of eggs she put into a genoise but brushed it off and said "if it doesn't work, I'll just rename it"!! I've done her boeuf bourguignon as well. Isn't it a great dish for company? I also did her 27-page recipe for French bread but only once!


  3. I too would honor her memory in a tangible way if possible. For the nonce, my eternal admiration for her will have to do.

  4. It would have been great to meet her. She seemed like quite a lady. And anyone who cooks with butter is OK in my books!

  5. how cool that you got to meet her and get her to autograph your book. i make this many times over the cold months!

  6. You picked the perfect recipe to post today! Happy Bday, Julia, wherever you are!

  7. i remember watching her cooking shows... miss watching her. the recipe looks wonderful and i will try it soon! a perfect fall recipe! yum! enjoy your evening!

  8. Would you believe I have never made this. I am going to make this over Christmas vacation. It is one of those recipes that would be fun to cook during a snow storm. Maybe I'll wait for the first snow day instead. Wonderful post. I have always been a big Julia fan.

  9. I love her cookbooks and used to watch her on PBS. I have made this recipe and it is so good!

  10. What a nice collection of her cookbooks and such a lovely spot to display them on your kitchen bookshelf. I do not think that I have ever actually made any of Julia's recipes, though I certainly paid attention to her techniques, especially that one about popping the dropped chicken right back into the roaster. =D

  11. I just saw...a few minutes ago that it was her 100th birthday! Yay! You are so fortunate to have a signed copy of her book...treasure that as I am sure you do, I haven't tried this recipe but will. I have several of her books! (None signed!!!)


  12. I made this last year for a group of friends that I had over for a fall luncheon. Everyone LOVED it! I really is so much easier than it looks. And, the flavor is amazing! So rich and delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Life to the full, Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

  13. You actually met Julia? How cool is that. Her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was one of my first cookbooks and she really taught me how to cook and also my knife skills.

    Love your WS chicken jug. I've always wanted one. Little ones too? So cute.

  14. I loved her TV shows! Great post honoring Julia, with one of her very best recipes!

  15. Oh! I'm so glad you celebrated her birthday by making this classic! I thought about making one of her dishes too ... a pavlova that she made on her show years ago ... she made it look soooo easy! What a gal!

    This beef bourgouignon looks like the perfect fall meal ... something for a cool crisp afternoon with leaves turning and a warm sweater keeping things cozy. It's on my list, girl!

    AND ... how cool is it that you met that lady ?!? Yowza!

  16. I have always wanted to make this so thank you for posting the recipe. I remember being little girl and being at my grandma's house and watching Julia Child. My grandmother would laugh sometimes with tears running down her face and I never could see what was funny. Then the movie Julie/Julia came out and I got it. I am so impressed you had your cookbooks signed by her. That is so special. You said this is an easy recipe I always thought it must be hard. It looks good.

  17. There will never be another Julia. How wonderful to own a signed copy of one of her cookbooks, lucky girl. I have never actually made a Julia recipe, but would love to give the beef bourgouignon a try, a perfect Fall or cold weather recipe. I loved watching her cooking show and continue to do so when they sometimes appear on PBS. Thanks for giving me the push, lovely photos. Hugs, Julie.

  18. How fortunate that you have a signed copy of Julia's book! It's a definite treasure and I hope you use it, often. This recipe is a great combination of par and post cooking that fits very well into using a solar oven. Will definitely try this when the cooler weather hits. Thanks for sharing. Come visit when you can.

  19. YUM!
    Did you know that there is lots of controversy surrounding the film "about her". Julie and Julia, that is.
    Comments at the end said that the real Julia wasn't fond of Julie's blog (rightfully so, Julie was/is very vulgar) Julie didn't truly have a passion for cooking but simply wanted to race through that book for some kind of little contest with herself. You can google around and see some things but that blog has been removed. I read it though after seeing the movie.

  20. She had a personality like no other! I loved watching her shows through the years.

    I would love to try this bourguignon when those cooler, fall days roll around soon.

  21. Imagine I have none of her books - I'm going to have to recitfy that!

    This recipe is so famous Ive been looking forward to trying it - it will be a good consolation when the winter weather comes.

    Delighted you have those signed copies of her books to treasure (and of course use!)

  22. I love Julia Child and who wouldn't want to try Beef bourguignon after hearing Julia pronounce it. It is actually one of my favourite, family dishes!

  23. She was a heck of a cook! Richard

  24. Nice tribute to Julia! I just love her. Thanks for stopping by the Ice Cream Social! Come back later this weekend to see what gets added. If you have any older ice cream posts feel free to add them.

  25. I grew up watching Julia Child cook on TV! I've always admired her and I'm jelous you met her and have her autographed cookbook, Mary :)

    Her boeuf bourguignon recipe is a such a wonderful classic! I yearn for the first crisp fall day when I will relish making it.

  26. oh WOW! how fabulous to have an autographed book by Miss Julia...I'm green with envy but so happy for you!

  27. I have two Julia Child cookbooks and her biography. I've been wanting to try the boeuf bourguignon but it scares me. :)

  28. Made her boeuf bourguignon this Sunday, and it was divine. I agree that it is simple, especially when compared to some of her other recipes. Been looking for Mastering the Art of French Cooking in yard sales. How wonderful that you have a signed copy.


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