Friday, August 13, 2010

Beef Bourguignon: A Love Story

Last summer I went with Jen and her sister, Karen, to see Julie & Julia.   The movie was funny, sweet, and everything you'd expect from a great "chick flick".  We laughed.  We cried. (Karen and I did during the previews anyway.)  We drooled over the amazingly delicious looking food.  I immediately decided we needed to make beef bourguignon.  A part of me would not be whole until we did.  One year later, after seeing Tyler Florence make it, we set out on our beef bourguignong making adventure.  I prepared the list and Jen did all the shopping.  She's a saint!  She and Karen arrived at my house around 3 o'clock and the cooking began.  We cubed, we chopped, we caramelized, we simmered, we turned every-day bacon slices in to lardons, we poached, and we flambéd until our little dutch oven full of goodness was finally ready to enjoy. 

My great-grandma Martha's dutch oven being put to good use.  At one point while we were cooking I took a moment to imagine her doing the same. 

If you've never poached a pear, I highly recommend it.   They are sweet and succulent.

It's been so hot here that David suggested we eat on the porch. I spent the morning getting everything ready for an enjoyable dining experience. I even picked the flowers from my flower garden. :)

I heart paper lanterns. 

The Beef Bourguignon! What's not to love about egg noodles, tender beef, bits of bacon, pearl onions and mushrooms in a savory sauce?   Despite some flaws in the recipe regarding an over abundance of beef broth, I thought the end result of our culinary adventure was great.  The beef was tender the sauce was flavorful.  In the future I'd like to try serving it over mashed potatoes.

For desert we sat our perfectly poached pears atop chocolate gnash and added a little vanilla ice cream garnished with a wafer cookie.   It was a delicious experience. 

At the end of this journey I find myself still in love with Beef Bourguignon. I had loved it for it's possibility, for the wonderful way the name of it rolls off the tip of my tongue.  Now I love it for it's beautiful simplicity, and savory flavors. 


Jen said...

:) Will you cry when we watch Eat Pray Love??? ;) I love that you went all out for this dinner! Especially the fancy table and lanterns! I meant to ask if those were the flowers from the front of your house, if they were wildflowers, and if you replant them every year or if they come up on their own?

Sandra said...

Jen, unlike some people I am not afraid to cry. :)

The flowers are from the front of the house. They are wildflowers that I planted this year. I have no idea if they'll come back on their own or not though.

Unknown said...

Barefoot Contessa, Eat your heart out!

Mrs. Jones said...

Thanks for reminding me I wanted to try this recipe after I saw the movie.

Absolutely beautiful!


aola said...

OH OH OH, everything looks absolutely perfectly beautiful... the colors of your table setting are fabulous, the food looks delicious. And the experience of doing it with your BFF's sounds so rich and fun.

makes me want to do something special

Kristen said...

Everything about this is just so, so cool. The decor, the delicious and special food, doing it with friends--awesome!

Sandra said...

Thanks ya'll. It was so much fun and it just wouldn't have been without the company of great friends.

A, you should do something! Maybe I'll get to see you soon when/if I pick up Brandy and the kids. :)