Channeling Julia Child with Beef Bourguignonne

Ever since I saw the movie “Julie & Julia” I’ve been trying to make and try Beef Bourguignonne. I needed to get myself a dutch oven and a few more ounces of cooking confidence before I were to attempt this feat. Also, I was not able to purchase a dutch oven until I learned how to pronounce Beef Bourguignonne properly according to my husband.


I can say it! And I can cook it. It was not as hard as I had anticipated. Everyone really enjoyed the meal. It was super flavorful and I loved that salt was not part of the recipe. It didn’t need it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it as I’m not typically fond of French food but this was fantastic. I will definitely make it again.


Below please find the recipe I used from my “Bride & Groom First and Forever” cookbook. Below the recipe I have added a few notes from my experience on substitutes, etc. Enjoy!


4 bacon slices, roughly chopped

1 ½ pounds boneless beef stew meat, such as beef chick or bottom round, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 ounces cremini or shitake mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (if using shitakes, discard stems)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups good-quality red wine, such as burgundy

3 cups beef broth (not double strength)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Fresh rosemary sprig (4 inches long)

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar

About 20 packaged peeled baby carrots

1 cup fresh pearl onions, peeled, or frozen petite whole onions, thawed

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnishing



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Fry the bacon in an ovenproof Dutch Oven over medium heat until lightly browned and slightly crisp about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.


Set the pot over high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium high and add the mushrooms, onion and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, bay leaf, brown sugar and bacon. Stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer.


Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and pearl onions. Bake uncovered, until the carrots and meat are tender, about 30 minutes more. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


I used canned shitake mushrooms. It’s definitely more budget friendly and easier to do. I did not use fresh rosemary but I sprinkled a few pieces of dried rosemary instead. I learned that I hate fresh pearl onions. They are super time consuming and just a pain. Moving forward I will definitely opt for the frozen pearl onions and just simply defrost them. I also did not garnish with fresh parsley at the end.


Traditionally this dish is served over boiled potatoes since its very stew like. I cut up potatoes and boiled them and placed them in a dish and ladled my stew on top.


Enjoy and let me know what you think.


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Where do I begin?

I mentioned in my previous post, that I have decided to write a cook book. Why not, right? I’m currently unemployed and have lots of free time. I LOVE cooking and am good at it. So where do I begin?

Last Thursday I had my mom over for dinner. She loved the Pasta with Pepperoni! I told her of my interest in writing a cook book. She thought it was a good idea and said I should reach out to my cousin (a few times removed) Bob. Bob has written a number of books and they have been published. I also learn that he is not the only published writer in my family. So apparently its in my genes to do this. Besides the fact that I share a birthday with Julia Child. I have writing in my genes. Thank goodness my mom’s cooking isn’t in my genes (hi mom).

First thing Friday morning I emailed my cousin Bob. Letting him know what my plans are for writing a cook book, what his thoughts were, advice he had and of course… where do I begin? Bob wrote me back right away with lots of wonderful advice. He highly suggested that I purchase the most recent edition of the Writer’s Market. It lists publishing companies, informs you how to write queries and much more.

Lucky for me, I was already heading to the mall Saturday to try on a pair of Kenneth Cole 925 shoes. Rumor was that they are the most comfortable shoes in the world, and everyone believes what they see on Good Morning America. Needless to say, the shoes fit horribly. The salesman said oh they stretch out and then they are really comfortable. Ok, no thank you. I ran over to Barnes & Noble and picked up the 2010 edition of the Writer’s Market so I can begin this project.

I’m very excited to begin. I have lots of ideas already and have been compiling some information already. Haven’t started the book yet though. I reached out to a number of publishing companies and magazines inquiring about who I can contact to pitch a cook book idea to, as well as any freelance editor of contributing writer positions. I received a few responses. Sent out a few resumes. Plus I received some detailed information for what to do once I have gotten a bit further with my book.

I’m very excited about my project and hope you will stay with me along the way.

Julie, Julia & Katie

I’m inspired!

Last night Nick and I went to see Julie & Julia and might I say what a movie. As you may know, my birthday just passed (August 14th) and Nick mentioned around that time that Julia Child and I share a birthday. Jokingly I said “that explains a lot”. But it really does. Sitting in the theatre with my popcorn and various candies of sorts I realized, my life really mimics that of both Julie & Julia in the film. Everything from the love of cooking to the relationship with my husband.

I walked away from the theatre thinking 2 things. 1 – I should wear pearls more often. They are so classy. And 2 – I should write a cook book. I can’t share everything with you, because then nothing would be a surprise, but I have lots of ideas already. I even emailed a few publishers today. So if you know anyone in the industry, let me know. Or if you have any recipes you’d like to share with me, please feel free to contact me.

I’m so excited about my new venture. Not only is it something I’m passionate about, but it will keep me occupied until I find full time employment. (Sidebar: I have a promising interview next week.)