Je suis Paris
In times like these, following world events like the bombing in Paris (and Lebanon…and really, all over the world nowadays), the words that hang in my heart are “we do not mature with age, but with events”. We are the events that we endure. It’s an age old practice that “when the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” And for that, I believe we are all more beautiful for the traumas we endure.
THE DINNER: We picked France for the recent events, but we also were saving France away for a special occasion…because we are LOVERS of French food in Brovskyland. I mean, you name it, we love it. Bread to bouillabaisse, we are in amour with it all. I recently got the opportunity at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival to try escargot and it was delicious… surprisingly. When we think about America meets Paris, we can take two avenues: Gene Kelly (An American in Paris) or Julia Child. Obviously only one of those has anything to do with food, so we will pick Mrs Child to field our AW195S meal this week!
Naturally, we picked Boeuf Bourguignon (which is Burgundy Beef to those Yankees). Basically, Julia takes bacon and beef and boils it into submission in herbs and onions and wine… it’s like a dream. We obviously pulled this recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 because we are professionals and this is a Bible for the French cook. So, we will post a recipe that is online, though we did not use that one, but rather the book version. It’s all together a very complex dish, but having had this one before, there is NOTHING more comforting and decedent than this meal. You will not be sorry for the effort and time expended on this dish. It’s lovely.
Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/boeuf-bourguignon-a-la-julia-child-148007
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: SIX STARS out of five this meal!
Alright, so that’s not really a scale. But it’s true none the less. This one is hard. It takes all day long and for good reason. This is Julia Child. This is French cooking. Good things take time and patience. The ingredients are not challenging. The execution is not challenging, so much as the time and considerations are challenging. It’s a labor of love. The elements are all prepared individually, which while annoying on the surface, to those lovers of food, know that this allows for depth of flavor. Each ingredient gets to be pampered and treated like a star and have one-on-one time with the chef. This is what makes the Boeuf Bourguignon undeniably perfect and rich and decedent. But, yeah, this one is not for the faint of heart or short of time. We’ve made this about three times now, and it gets “easier” with each round– so take heart, dear ones. You’ll be out of the woods as practice makes perfect.
Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
It’s a perfect Sunday meal. It’s something that sits and stews and smells up the house while it melts the flavors for hours and hours. The perfume from the Boeuf Bourguignon should be bottled and sold because it’s intoxicating… and I’m not just referring to the wine. Though that certainly was the lovely part— when you boil meat in alcohol for hours on end, something magical just happens. It’s melt in your mouth tender. The flavors are complex and that’s due to the time it all gets to spend together. There’s only three spices in this recipe, but it’s incredibly flavor PACKED. You can traditionally serve this with mashed potatoes or over noodles, but we are purists and love to have this one over nothing but instead with a nice French baguette for sopping up all that stewed wine and beefy goodness. This one is a home run. People dream of this Boeuf Bourguignon in Brovskyland.
Next week on AW195S we will jet set to Western Sahara for #78!!
– L & K