Does anyone ever get so obsessed with something out of the blue that it’s all you can think about? That’s how I felt this morning about Boeuf Bourguignon. This is a dish I’ve been meaning to make for years (we’re talking thinking about making this before I even knew how to cook) but for some reason just hadn’t, probably because it’s intimidating? Anyways, I woke up this morning and just had to do it. I spent three hours reading and researching different recipes and analyzing them to understand what made each chef choose to make their recipe the way that they did and the function of every ingredient. I ended up torn between Anthony Bourdain’s (RIP💔) recipe and Ina Garten’s recipe. Ina’s was more complicated with more ingredients and some novel but daunting steps like pouring in Cognac and setting fire to the entire dish with a match, while Anthony’s was simpler but classic. I was a little bit terrified of Ina’s as I’ve had some traumatic match incidents in the past couple of months (shout out to all of you who saw me light myself on fire at my birthday party), plus I wanted to pay homage to Anthony following his tragic death last week. That being said, I certainly wasn’t going to leave out mushrooms and bacon, so I ended up fusing the two recipes together to get just what I was looking for.
I was pretty impressed with this dish. Okay, so it probably wasn’t the world’s greatest Boeuf Bourguignon, but it was definitely delicious and I cooked it up without any major crises or incidents. Dare I say it even felt kind of easy? The beauty of this dish is the complexity of flavors you get from the slow simmer, but all of the tasks were very manageable. I cooked up some pancetta in my brand new dutch oven (which I’m totally in love with) and browned sirloin chunks in the fat rendered off of the pancetta. Next I threw in onions and let them soften in the remaining juices, and I just have to say that was probably one of the best things I’ve ever smelled. Then added flour followed by wine and deglazed the pot, scraping up all that amazing browned bits of beef and pancetta. Last I added in the aromatics and veggies and waited patiently for two hours for the flavors to come together and baked some five ingredient Half Baked Harvest cookies while I waited. The flavor of the stew was incredible but the best part was having it served over toasted french bread rubbed with a garlic clove a la Ina Garten. I’ve heard a thousand times that this dish is better the next day, so I can’t wait to try the leftovers and keep you all posted. For those of you who read this today, check back tomorrow for an update! But for now all I have to say is I can’t think of a better way to spend a relaxing day in than cooking an amazing meal.