Food Mimic: Beef Bourguignon

Last week, MrFodder made a beef stew, and it was delicious. Unfortunately, I had a lot of stuff on after work, so I didn’t make it home for dinner many nights, and only got to eat it a couple of times. Inspired by that, for my food mimic challenge, I decided to try beef bourguignon. Which I still have to google the spelling, even after looking at recipes for the past couple of days. If you haven’t seen the movie Julie & Julia, this dish formed an important part of the plot, and for a moment, I was also tempted to do what Julie did, and call in sick – I’ll explain later.

So the recipe I decided to with is from the kitchn:

I wrote down the ingredients, went to the supermarket, and returned thinking I’d just have to chop up some stuff, chuck it in the dutch oven that Sharon and Graham bought me for my birthday, and check on the dish between games of Dota 2.

So the recipe starts with frying the bacon to get some of the fat which you’ll use to sear the meat, and lightly fry the veggies. Since MrFodder and I are currently trying to eat better, I stupidly bought the lean bacon, so there was very little bacon fat in the pan. Mistake #1. Still, I just ended up using canola oil once I ran out of the bacon fat, so it worked out OK. I also decided to make a double batch, as we just acquired a new freezer, so we have room to cook things ahead of time for later. But that also meant I spent a long time at the stove searing the beef, as the recipe says not to crowd the pan. It takes ages when you’re searing 2.5kg of beef cubes! But the smell. So good. Chucking the red wine on the pan between batches of beef to clean the pan gives off such a delicious smell.

After a few hours at the stove, I finally had the first part ready to go in the oven.

You’re meant to cook it at about 150 degrees for a couple of hours, but I guess since I had double the amount, it didn’t quite hit that tender stage in that time, so I left it for a couple more hours. And it still wasn’t done. So we put it in containers to be finished the next day. The kitchen smelled amazing at this stage though. Just so many nice food scents.

I originally wanted to serve it with pasta, but after looking at some pictures on Google, I thought about trying my hand at aligot, which is the fancy French way of saying mashed potatoes with cheese, garlic and butter. But since he has had his gall bladder out, MrFodder hasn’t been great with large amounts of cheese, so I opted to replace the cheese with a bit of parsley, so it’s like potato garlic bread (which I’m really sad we didn’t eat any of while we were in Italy).

So here’s the dish I was trying to replicate:

By the way, those veggies are covered in butter. Did I mention they love butter over there? So good though.

Here’s what I ended up with:

The meat was decently tender. A tiny bit chewy, so it probably could have cooked for a little longer, but soft enough. The mash is so nice though. Very soft and fluffy, and garlicy, though it does have the downside of leaving you with serious garlic breath, so I felt bad eating it in the office today. Might have to pick up some gum tomorrow morning.

I’m not a fan of mushrooms, either, so I was a bit dubious about adding them, but I think it worked out. It tastes good.

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