It’s Eating Together Week… and a Boeuf Bourguinon Recipe!
Presented by Touchstone Family Association & The recipe is courtesy of Julia Child & Chef Alex Tung
Celine Dion believes in the “Power of Love” and I believe in the “Power of Food”! What a great initiative Richmond and Touchstone Family Association has set out to accomplish. I do hope that other cities will follow suit. Through a series of proactive activities which all include food, my favourite, “Eating Together Week” is set out to encourage families to eat together. From February 21-28 Touchstone Family Association is organizing events which encourage families to eat, cook, learn and enjoy food together. For a list of complete activities please see here.
So you might be wondering what I would know about eating together at home with my family. To be honest, I don’t eat at home often, but… I am always eating out with friends and family. As much as I enjoy eating out, I equally enjoy eating at home. I actually love to cook and entertain and half the fun of eating is all about the company. Eating alone can be like watching a movie alone… it’s much nicer being able to “mmmm” with someone across from you.
“Let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah, think of all that we could share”… did you get that? It was lyrics from the Parent Trap, and it’s true! And what better way to do so than with food. That’s not even a question, that’s a period. Eating Together Week encourages family meal times to promote family communication, model manners and encourage children to try new foods. According to their website research shows that family meal times prevent disruptive behaviours and improves grades.
It’s kind of funny because I’m not really a kid anymore and I find there’s now a reversal of roles. I actually love eating with my family (especially when it’s their treat lol j/k)… but I am usually the one encouraging them to try new food. Nonetheless I think it’s fantastic to use the activity of eating and the topic of food to bring families together. Personally I think it’s actually about the communication and not really about the food, but hey who doesn’t like to talk over food?!
Everyone has to eat and food brings people together. Food is a relatable subject and it’s my topic of discussion in pretty much any conversation. Actually, I guess I talk about it even when I’m not in conversation… like right now. I have always strongly believed that eating and food is a powerful tool and I’m so happy that people are taking notice of that. It’s obviously a big part of my life and it’s pretty much why I do what I do, and love what I do. I love learning about food and sharing my passion for it and that’s why I created Follow Me Foodie.
I had the great honour to be invited to Executive Chef Alex Tung’s free cooking class, which was one of the several activities happening during Eating Together Week. Seriously you guys should check out these events especially if you have kids. Anyways the evening started at 6pm and Chef Alex from Tapenade Bistro in Steveston Village, in Richmond, hosted the evening by giving attendees a cooking demonstration. He featured his version of Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguinon recipe, and how cute is it that I have the honour to blog about this?! It’s like Julie & Julia, but I’ll call this version Mijune & Alex… hmmm that doesn’t have the same ring does it? Oh well!
After the demonstration and delicious Boeuf Bourguinon dinner they strongly encouraged us to share this recipe by cooking it for our families, or even just sharing the recipe with at least 5 others. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I see their 5 and raise them _________! C’mon ladies and gentlemen, help me spread the word, love and recipe!
Chef Alex Tung’s Version of Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguinon Recipe
- 9- to 10-inch, fireproof casserole dish , 3 inches deep
- Slotted spoon
- 6 ounces bacon
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
- 3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. flour (omitted in Chef Alex Tung’s version)
- 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti
- 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- Crumbled bay leaf
- Blanched bacon rind
- 18 to 24 small white onions , brown-braised in stock
- 1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms , sautéed in butter
- Parsley sprigs
Chef Alex Tung’s version/recommendations for the recipe includes the following:
1. Season the beef before browning it. Science tells us that better browning of the meat occurs, thus better flavor.
2. Do not use flour. Add 1 sliced celery and shallots.
3. Add star anise, peppercorns and juniper berries into the braise. Star anise because it boosts the umami profile of braised meats, peppercorns for their floral heat and juniper berries for their floral essence.
4. Use grass fed natural beef.
1. Remove rind from bacon, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.
4. Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
7. Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
8. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
9. When the melt is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
10. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
11. For immediate serving: Covet the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.
12. For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
Copyright © 1961, 1983, 2001 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted by arrangement with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.