Sunday, November 1, 2009

Matt and Miller and Julia

I bought Mastering the Art of French Cooking this week and yesterday we tried our hand at Boeuf Bourguignon. We saw Julie and Julia (and read the book), and I just finished her autobiography, My Life in France, so we've been wanting to make some authentic french cuisine.

The first sentence in this 700 page whopper-of-a-cookbook says "This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children's meals, the parent-chauffeur-den-mother syndrome, or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat." Yes, her recipes are expensive and time-consuming. And yes, Paula Deen has nothing on Julia in regards to how many sticks of butter one dish can possibly hold. But man are her dishes DELICIOUS.

We started at 1:30 in the afternoon. We ate at 6:30. And it wasn't a "let it simmer 5 hours" type of dish. It was 5 full hours of blood, sweat, and tears (ok maybe it wasn't that bad). Matt did the actual cooking, and I served as sous chef by prepping, cleaning, keeping the kid entertained, and giving moral support when needed. Sadly there were some casualties along the way (the dish was apparently NOT stove-top safe).

But the result was excellent. It was basically a beef stew, like we'd made numerous times before in a crock-pot. Only better. More complex. Our house smelled AMAZING all afternoon. We made Julia's sauteed potatoes to go with it (which were outstanding). The only thing we would do differently next time is to add more pearl onions to the stew. The recipe only calls for 18-24, even though a bag has about twice that. The onions were superb, and if you are going to the trouble to do them the way Julia says, you should add more.

We had leftovers today. Julia says you can make it ahead of time and reheat and the flavors will only increase with time. She was correct; we both thought it was better today.

The verdict: we'll be making it again. And I think we'll try some of her other recipes as well. Julia does know good food.

Bon appetit:)

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Practically Perfect... said...[Reply to comment]

Well, I am impressed. I came very close to buying her cookbooks when we were in Massachusetts, but decided it would be silly to buy them only to box them up and move them to Indiana. I figured that I would just hold off and buy them once we got here. Obviously, that has happened yet! I've read several people's summaries of their cooking from a Julia recipe, and most make it sounds pretty harrowing. I'm glad that your results were so great :-)

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

So I was reading one of my weekly blogs
and she was talking about "the best chocolate sheet cake" she had ever had--made by none other than Pioneer Woman (recipe in the new cookbook)I thought since you just got the cookbook maybe you could give it a try and let me know...I am always looking for a good chocolate cake!
loved your little monkey, especially his dimples
xo Casey

Miller said...[Reply to comment]

Casey - I read Bakerella too! Funny! I will definitely try out the chocolate cake and let you know. Everything in the cookbook looks amazing!

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