Julia Child’s beef bourguignon meets Smitten Kitchen

If you’ve watched or read Julie and Julia you know that the recipe beef bourguignon is prominently featured.

Well, a few weeks ago, a fellow reporter Tweeted a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for mushroom bourguignon. When I inquired about it, she assured me it was awesome (it certainly looked amazing from the photos and description!). So, last night, I finally got around to making it.

And after I made it, I decided that I needed to amend my last post on my favorite recipes of 2011 because this would probably top the list.

There can absolutely be nothing wrong with portabella mushrooms bathed in merlot, accompanied by butter, olive oil, garlic, onions and beef broth. It’s just the truth.

I didn’t quite follow the directions as Smitten Kitchen had them. For example, I didn’t realize until I was halfway through that I was supposed to mix a few ingredients separately and combine them later. I don’t think it really mattered in the end, so, it’s all good!

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen…

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 tablespoons butter, softened; 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices; 1/2 carrot, finely diced; 1 small yellow onion, finely diced; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cup full-bodied red wine; 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional but vegetable to make it vegetarian; it works with either); 2 tablespoons tomato paste; 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried); 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen); Egg noodles, for serving; Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Directions: Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.

Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.

Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.

Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.

Notes: Smitten Kitchen says to boil the sauce down to the right consistency. I cheated and added a little bit more flour to thicken it up. I also ditched the carrots. A note from my friend who recommended the recipe was to make sure to get the pre-pealed pearl onions.

Serve with: I had some bagged salad that I served on the side and drank the merlot that I had used in the sauce.


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