Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cooking with Julia Child
Days Left: 358
Recipes To Go: 590
Dinner:
Julia Child (Volume I ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Saute de Boeuf a la Bourguignonne ~ Beef Saute with Red Wine, Mushrooms, Bacon, and Onions p. 326 - 327
Buttered Rice III p. 531
(***Includes small braised onions on p. 481 and sliced, sauteed mushrooms on p. 513 for the beef dish)
I was going to bake an Custard Apple Tart for dessert, saw Julia's short crust recipe and chickened out. I need time to jump in, read a recipe 6 times to make sure I understand everything I am reading, then know I can relax (key word here, relax when baking ...okay, several words) and just let the baking juices flow. Anotherwords, the night is getting late and I just don't feel like it any more.

I enjoy Julia's food (so far, and there have been a few scary moments) but the steps to get to the end result have me asking my hubby, my daughter, Rocky (our Retriever) did I read this right? Is this suppose to taste like this right now? or like tonight: I bought the wrong cut of meat, didn't I? Oh God! I did! I bought mock tenderloin (fancy way for advertising to relabel chuck roast steak) instead of fillet of beef tenderloin. All the steps, all the flipping pages back and forth to braise onions, then flipping over to the recipe for sliced, sauteed mushrooms, only to discover that the meat (flash cooked in butter of course) is still suppose to be a flavorful cut, just tough. I am getting blow-by-blow accounts from hubby who now has his laptop going in the living room and is reading to me while I panic over ruining a dish that is a close 2nd to the beouf bourguignonne in the movie. Lucky for me, I am doing a variation to the movie bourguignonne and still have the original dish to do. I think for the real beouf bourguignonne, I will call ahead to have a cow prepped just before I get to the butchers.

The rice was a hard dish to prepare. Maybe because the deflation of morale has already started or maybe because the night is getting late (time seems to be flying), I don't know.

Julia says to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then blanch 1 1/2 cups of unwashed, raw rice for 10 to 12 minutes in 7 to 8 quarts of boiling salted water until barely tender. Then rinse under hot water (blanch rice?)While the rice is blanching, melt the butter with the seasonings in the casserole over the boiling water, and prepare the round of waxed paper. As soon as the rice has been rinsed in hot water, turn it into the hot casserole and fluff it with a fork to blend with the butter and seasonings. Lay the paper over the rice, cover the casserole, and set it, still in its pan of boiling water, in the lower portion of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Fluff it with a fork. Correct seasoning.
A LOT of steps and I could have just used my rice cooker but I won't let myself. I just have to know if Julia's way is better...either lack of skills for this dish or over baking (oh yea, both are a lack of skills aren't they?), the rice was a little too done. The texture kind of fell apart in my mouth.
The Braised Onions I have just GOT to share! When the movie says YUM about food, Braised Onions should Sooooo have been included.
First, I have to share the newest learned technique I love.
Here it is: The quickest and neatest way to peel small white onions is to drop them into a saucepan of rapidly boiling water and leave them for 5 to 10 seconds, just long enough for the skins to loosen. Drain. Run cold water over them. Trim off top and bottom portions and slip the outer skin off...fast, easy, and NO Tears!
Place 18 to 24 onions in the saucepan or skillet with 1/2 cup chicken broth, dry white wine, or water "plus" 2 Tablespoons of butter, salt and freshly ground pepper and a small herb bouquet (made up of 2 parsley sprigs, 1/8 t. thyme, and 1/3 bay leaf tied in cheesecloth).
Cover and simmer very slowly, rolling the onions in the saucepan from time to time, for 40 to 50 minutes. The onions should not color, and should be perfectly tender yet retain their shape. Remove herb bouquet.
The onions can be cooked several hours in advance, reheated, and served.
YUMMY! I am not that big of an onion person and yet I found myself popping a couple in my mouth and thinking these were the best little onions Ever.
I used the recipe for sauteed mushrooms on p. 513.
I learned how to blanch bacon; Julia calls for smoked bacon and references p. 15 to say that smoked bacon is usually fresher than salt pork and blanching will take the smoky flavor out. There is still a little smoky flavor left from the bacon used in this recipe but not tasted in the beef dish.
Overall, a Great recipe for the Saute de Beouf a la Bourguignonne p. 326-327 (I'll try a different rice recipe and hope for the best next time) and I would remake this ASAP if I didn't have over 5oo recipes to go. Referencing recipes to go back to later sounds like something to think about. I have no idea how to go about this yet.

2 comments:

Sonia said...

Thanks for sharing the tips.This dish look just great.

Velva said...

Amazing! Cheers to you for taking on Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Your dish looks divine. I totally agree with you those pearl onions are might good!

Great blog post!