Boeuf Bourguignon. A must have cold-weather food classic. My adaption from Julia Child’s recipe in, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

A wonderful dish, raising simple “old world ” peasants stew- to a complex, full body depth; capable of transcending you to your comfortable warm happy place! A bit time consuming– but worth every moment and hopefully, it won’t take you as long to cook it, as long as it took me to write it!

Just so happens I met Julia in my younger culinary days and have her book, “The Way To Cook” autographed by Julia Child’s herself! A day I will never forget! 

Begin with the Beef:

Ingredients:

1/2 Tablespoon good quality olive oil

8 -10 ounces of good quality slab bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch strips

3 pounds beef for stew -or cut your meat into about 2-inch chunks. Acceptable cuts -rump, chuck, sirloin tip, top round, or bottom round.

Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced in 1 inch chunks

1 yellow onion, diced

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 -4 cups red wine , preferably a Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Bordeaux-St, Emilion, Burgundy

1 cup rich, fine quality beef stock

1-2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1-2 dried bay leaves, left whole

2-3 cloves garlic, smashed

Method:

(The key is to cook the mushrooms and onions separate, then combine)

1-Preheat oven to 450’F degrees. In a large heavy bottomed 8 quart stock pot, or enamel Dutch oven- heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook bacon for 5-8 minutes until browned, and fat has rendered to the bottom of the cooking vessel. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel. Set aside.

2-Pat the beef dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper toss in flour. Shake.

3-Heat the olive oil with the rendered bacon fat- to high heat. When shimmering, add the seasoned, floured beef, in batches – do not crown the pan. Brown the beef well on all sides. Remove and set aside.

3-Add the chopped carrots and the diced onions to the remaining fat and four remnants. Sauté until lightly brown and caramelized. Careful not to burn. This also helps cook the raw flour and bring out it’s inherent nutty flavor. (The flour acts as a thickening agent to the final outcome)

5-Deglaze the pan with the red wine making sure to scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock,tomato paste,herbs and the garlic. Stir to combine.

6-Return the beef and bacon to this vessel. Cover. Reduce oven heat to 325’F and place vessel in the oven and cook about 3 to 4 hours. Now prepare the onions and the mushrooms. Add both mushrooms and onions to the pot and keep covered and continue cooking until beef is fork tender and liquid reduced to a stew like consistency. Serve with any style potatoes or enjoy on its own!

The Pearl Onions

Ingredients: 

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

2 dozen small white pearl onions, boiled with skins on for 5 minutes , roots cut, and squeezed out of peels ( or use thawed frozen- but if you are spending this much money and time use fresh)

1 cup fine quality beef stock

3-4 fresh flat leaf parsley sprigs

2 fresh bay leaves

3-4 fresh thyme sprigs

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:

1-Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the par-boiled, peeled pearl onions. Sauté for about 10 -12 minutes, until the onions are chocolate brown and caramelized.

2-Add the beef stock.

3-Tie the herbs together with butcher’s twine, or wrap inside kitchen cheesecloth. Add those in, too. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes to marry flavors. Add to main pot in the oven. Stir in well including the herb bundle.
The Mushrooms 

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh unsalted butter

1/2-1 pound white mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel

2 cloves garlic minced fine

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Quarter the mushrooms ( personally, I choose smaller mushrooms and leave them whole)

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over high heat. When the foam from the butter begins to subside, add in the mushrooms.

Add garlic. Shake the mushroom around for about 5 minutes until toasty brown. Remove from heat and also add to the main pot in the oven.

Yay, Slow Cooking Season has Arrived! Try my Families Favorite, Slow Sunday Chicken Chile Verde!

There’s a bit of prep up front- but this makes the final flavors all worth the extra effort! 

Ingredients:

2 lbs. tomatillos, husked (paper skins, removed) and cut in half

4 lg. poblano or anaheim peppers, cut in have seeds and stem removed

1-2 jalapeños, (depending on your spice preference)

4 garlic cloves peeled

2 lg. red plum tomato cut in half, core & seeds removed

1 lg. red bell pepper, de-seeded cut in half

1 – 4 oz. can diced green chiles, medium heat-drained

1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped 

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 -2 Tablespoons, ground cumin

2 teaspoons, dried oregano

1-2 teaspoon, ground white pepper

1/4-1/2 teaspoon, ground cayenne pepper

Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup chicken stock 

4-6 chicken breasts, boneless -skinless,  cut in half horizontally 

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated for garnish  

Sour cream for garnish ( optional) 

1 bunch scallions cleaned and chopped on diagonal for garnish

Red radish sliceed paper thin for garnish

Flat leaf parsley, chopped fine for garnish

Crushed white corn tortilla chips, for garnish 

1-2 avocados diced, for garnish

1 Lime, cut into wedges

Method

Place tomatillos cut side down, poblano peppers, jalapeños, tomato, red bell peppers and garlic cloves on a lightly sprayed foil-lined large baking sheet or char on the outdoor grill.  

If using the oven- place under the broiler setting for 8-10 minutes or until the tomatillos and peppers begin to roast and blacken. If you don’t have broiler in your oven, you can put the oven at 425′ F. However the best option is to use an outdoor grill and char until the vegetables are blackening and deflating, about 10-15 minutes on high, constantly rotating. 

After charring, Immediately transfer the poblanos, jalapeños, tomatoes and red bell pepper into a few gallon sized plastic food storage bag and zip tight. Steam the vegetables in the bag for about 5 minutes  to release some of the skin – now remove from bag and scape and excess skin that didn’t just steam and peel off. Discard, skin and clean away any seeds or interior veins. Work over a bowl to reserve any additional juices. 

Add tomatillos and any reserved juice to a blender. Pulse to process into a purée, adding stock as need to thin out chunks. 

Add garlic, green chiles, tomato, red bell pepper along with the cilantro ( reserving some chop cilantro for garnish) lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and additional stock. Blend the ingredients until they are well combined and become a thick soup-like consistency.

Add chicken and diced onions to an 6-8 quart *stockpot or your slow cooker.

Pour tomatillo-chile sauce all over the top of the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook on medium high stirring occasionally for 3 1/2 hours or set to low on your slow cooker. Process for 6- 7 hours. ( * if cooking in stove add an additional stock to cover). 

Before serving, remove chicken with a slotted spoon, and shred with a fork. Add back to slow cooker and mix in to combine. Taste, adjust flavor with salt and pepper. 

Serve in individual bowls topped with with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, scallions, radish, cubed avocado, chopped parsley and a lime wedge. 

Pair with warm corn tortillas.

Serves 4-6.