Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bon Appetit!

Whenever I think of beef bourguinon, I think of Julia Child, thanks in large part to Julie and Julia.  Based on a tip from JK, I followed Ina Garten's recipe, which was decidedly simpler than Julia Child's recipe.  It really was delicious and I will be making this recipe lots this winter.  The stew broth had depth and complexity and was really well-balanced; you could taste the deep meatiness of the perfectly cooked beef and pancetta with the red wine and sweetness from the vegetables and aromatics, including carrots, pearl onions, garlic, thyme and crimini mushrooms.  I basically followed Ina's recipe exactly, except I used pancetta that I already had in the fridge instead of bacon, about 2.75 lbs of beef after trimming off as much fat as possible, and 1/2 cup more of beef stock.  In the future, I would probably use a little bit more stock and wine, since the stew broth was so delicious, I would have cut everything a little smaller, and I would have cooked the carrots and pearl onions just a little longer.  I used choice chuck ribeye from Costco, which was reasonably priced, and cheap Trader Joe's 2 Buck Chuck Merlot (I don't think it makes a difference) and Trader Joe's beef broth.  I can't recommend this recipe enough!  We had the perfect wine with this meal as well (also thanks to JK, who recommended Miner Families on our first Napa trip back in 2005): 2002 Miner Family Oracle (a bordeaux blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc).  It was beautiful; still very lively and lush with a big nose, lots of fruit and very drinkable.  We followed it with a 2007 Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawara Shiraz (our old go-to relatively inexpensive wine at steakhouses), but it was a little too dark, peppery and jammy, particularly relative to the vivacious Miner Family Oracle.

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