National Burgundy Day means you must make Julia Child's 'Beef Bourguignon'
Where most people think of the wine, I am thinking of that classic French recipe Beef bourguignon, particularly from the eminent Julia Childs
Photo credit: Alan C via Flickr
I'm a bit of a recipe collector. You might have seen my previous posts about vintage '70s recipes, and I do have quite a few classic/tragic beef recipes that I could wheel out. But this recipe is synonymous with French cuisine on so many levels. Today is National Burgundy Day, and this classic felt like exactly what I wanted to share to celebrate the day.
It sits in the back of my recipe folder as something to make when I have lots of time. It does take a long time, but it's worth it for the gorgeous smells wafting through the house for half the day.
The classic 2009 foodie film, Julie and Julia – starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams – tells the story of Julie Powell, the food blogger that tried to cook every single thing (all 524 recipes) in the famous book Mastering The Art of French Cooking. If you've seen it, you'll know how important this book was, not just to Julie, but also in terms of inspiring chefs (and parents of chefs) for years down the line throughout the USA and UK.
One of the dishes that appears in the film is Beef bourguignon (a dish synonymous with the Bourgogne region of France). Julie makes it for Julia, who arranges to come over to her apartment for a meal – but Julie manages to fall asleep and it burns. She manages to rescue the situation, but Julia cancels due to the weather. Everyone is sad and disheartened. It's a tragic film in some ways.
If you want to 'do it properly' then make sure you spend an eye-watering amount of money to have Charolais beef bred in the Burgundy area and shipped over. Personally I would support a local butcher or supplier and use some British raised beef; even British Charolais herds do exist in parts!
Also where it asks for wine, the recipe says something like Chianti – but why would you? I ignore this part. Any Burgundy red should do. There are a ton of nice wines that are produced in the Burgundy region; here is a link for wine nerds to examine.
We've made this recipe a few times, and you can find it online here (which is where I discovered it). Each time it's tasted better and better. Play around with the recipe to suit your taste. I've done some rough conversions for the cups as well. A US cup equates to about 240ml.