Monday, September 17, 2012

Bon Appetit

Every since the Peep watched Julie and Julia the Sony Pictures Movie based on the book of the same name about Julie a lovely woman cooking all of the recipes in the Julia Child's  Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she has been a fan of Beef Bourguignonne.  Before she ate it the first time and definitely after.   

We have talked several times about opening the copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking we some how managed to liberate from my sweet mother in law's house and making Julia's version at home but we just never got around to it.

Last week we got a William-Sonoma catalog in the mail and it had a lovely picture and recipe for Beef Bourguignonne in it that I decided it was time to make it.  So TODAY was the day.

I really wish for your sake that my computer was enabled with smellovision.  The house smells wonderful.

I admit that I didn't follow Julia's recipe, but the WS version which follows is just as complex, and probably just as lovely, and if we end up liking it I will make Julia's next time and let you know if there's a difference.

Note- I couldn't find the veal demi-glace at the Pavillions grocery store where the Peep and I stopped on the way home from school to ingredient up for dinner- so I subbed in beef bullion.  Meh.

As I sit here though, thinking Beef Bourguignonne in the distinctly Julia Child voice, I Googled her looking for video and came across this from ABC news.  I couldn't find a date stamp on it so I am not sure when it ran, but it was a lovely seven minute or so piece on Julia.

William Sonoma Beef Bourguignonne


  • 3 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 1/2 lb. boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 lb. slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. veal demi-glace
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle (750ml) Pinot Noir
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 lb. pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs and 6 parsley sprigs, tied with kitchen twine)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Boiled potatoes with parsley for serving (see related recipe at left)


Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a 6 3/4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil until just smoking. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes, adding 1 to 2 Tbs. water if the bottom of the pot becomes too dark. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the beef.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the bowl with the beef and mushrooms.

Discard all but 1/4 cup of the fat from the pot. Add the yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, demi-glace and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Return the beef, mushrooms and bacon to the pot. Add the broth, pearl onions and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and then with the lid. Transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Skim the excess fat off the sauce, and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the stew immediately over boiled potatoes. Serves 8 to 10.  William Sonoma Kitchens

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Whats with the RIP Morgan Freeman FB Page?

I don't understand what the administrators of the RIP Morgan Freeman FB page are getting from their page?

A million people have liked the page, but the actor is alive... people are all crabby and yelling in the comments sections and others are seemingly boo-hooing at the thought that he is gone.

I can't fathom what someone would gain from something like this. Please advise.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What we're doing for dinner

Like you care, but here's what I'm making for dinner.

It's just the Peep and me for dinner tonight since Slick is at a sales meeting- funny since he's not a salesman- but such is life.

Not because I'm such a great cook- though I'm working on it- but I found it so interesting reading this recipe this afternoon on

It's a pretty straightforward pork tenderloin- season, sear, roast- it's going to be finished in less than 30 minutes.  Just about enough time for the Brussels sprouts and homemade macaroni and cheese to cook as well.

Here's what I found so intriguing though: in the comment section of the recipe people were so rude.

Apparently they didn't read carefully the recipe and they weren't sure weather to cook the pork in the sauce or not- clearly in- they didn't know where to put the pork while the sauce thickened- on a cutting board tinted under foil- again clearly stated.

Instead of looking at the recipe to see if there was something they missed, they lashed out at the chef poster person who had shared her recipe and were complaining about how long it took their pork to cook, that their sauces burned and that they weren't interested in buying expensive stove to oven cookware.

Why was it people's first inclination not even just to be angry that their pork didn't turn out correctly, but to then take to the "airwaves" so to speak, to complain about it.

 I have certainly had my share of meals that I won't make again- and Slick has made a few bombs over the years- I can't think right now of an instance where we turned to the recipe and said it was it's fault.  It has been my fault if I've talked on the phone instead of taking the meatloaf out of the oven in time, it has been Slick's when he sprinkled a teaspoon of salt on each scallop instead of a teaspoon across eight.  In neither instance would it have occurred to us to blame anyone other than ourselves for the error.

Why then was it this person's fault that someone had their sauce turned up too high; that they were cooking a pork ROAST instead of a tenderloin? I'm all First Amendmented up- I get that they can say whatever- but take some responsibility people.

FYI the recipe in case you feel the need to try it out:

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin -
4 tbs butter
2 tbs honey
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an ovenproof pot, heat butter and honey over medium heat until melted.  Sprinkle pork tenderloin with Cajun seasoning and black pepper.  Brown each side for 5 minutes in the honey butter.  Lower heat if honey begins to burn.
Place pot in oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes*.  Remove pot from oven and transfer the pork to a plate. Cover with foil.  Add water to the pot and stir over medium heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce is reduced slightly.  Slice pork on the diagonal and drizzle sauce over top to serve.
*NOTE:  May need to cook longer depending on the size and thickness of the pork tenderloin.