"Some wine for the chicken and some wine for the cook"
When you're really into cooking, you are kind of instantly inspired to get in the kitchen after watching Julie & Julia. I can't remember exactly how long after I watched the movie but I know within a week I was paper towel drying beef stew chunks because Julia said that the meat would not brown unless it was dry. I was also 17 and my dad had to buy the "chianti" wine which I pronounced shi-anti. Ah, how so much has changed. That year was when I started working at Williams Sonoma and coincidently I was Julia Child for Halloween (see embarrassing photo below). I won't lie it was really hard for me to post this still-teen-self of me. But there it is in all it's glory ;)
There are a few things I've learned and related with by watching Julie & Julia. One, I feel super connected with Julia Child because we're both from California! In fact she was born in Pasadena and I was born in Arcadia which are two towns that are like ten minutes from each other. Soooo were both Cali girls. After seeing a rendition of how amazing her life was in France I realized that if my little world were to somehow erupt and I had life crisis... I would drop everything and cook my way through France. But lets hope that never really happens.
Julie Powell is the contemporary character in Julie & Julia. Viewers watch her cook her way through Julia Child's legendary cookbook in a very small kitchen with little experience.
This is nothing but relatable! About 95% of my posts are styled and shot in my little insy winsy two bedroom apartment. I set up my styling area right in front of my living room window and go to town. Julie's husband follows and supports her through her journey and Jared does just the same for me. Most Sunday's I am in the kitchen working on blog content and he is there every step even if the football game is blaring in the background ;) He likes to consider himself the "poison tester".
If you are into cooking, watch Julie & Julia. You will be soooooo glad you did. And even if you aren't it is still an incredible movie!
I would be lying if I said that this recipe was on the easy side. It's one of those recipes that you make when you have a Sunday on your hands or are having your mother in law over for dinner. But despite it's difficulty level it is def worth it. It seemed as if every other step I asked myself "do I really need to do this?!". The whole process ended up being well worth it. I've made this dish a few times and every time it seems a little easier and tastes a little better. Find your inner Julia and give it a try!
Recipe by Julia Child
6 Oz of chopped bacon
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
2.5 Lbs of chunked stewing meat
3 Peeled and sliced carrots
1 White onion thinly sliced
1/4 Cup of all purpose flour + 1Tsp salt + 1Tsp pepper
2 Cups of red wine
1 Cup of beef broth
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
3 Garlic gloves smashed
1 Crumpled bay leaf
1 Teaspoon of thyme
1 Pound of mushrooms, quartered
4 Tablespoons of butter
16-20 Small pearl onions
1/2 Cup of red wine + 1/2 Cup of beef broth
Minced parsley for garnish
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
In a large dutch oven sauté the bacon and olive oil until cooked. Transfer to a separate bowl with a slotted spoon. Dry beef chunks with paper towels to ensure browning. Brown beef chunks (about ten pieces at a time) on high heat in leftover bacon fat. Transfer to bowl with bacon. In the same fat brown your carrots and onions for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a separate bowl.
In your empty dutch oven return beef chunks and bacon and sprinkle and mix with flour. Sprinkle 1 Teaspoon of salt and pepper over beef and toss. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. This will create a crust for your meat. Remove from oven and mix, then place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 330 degrees.
Add in two cups of young red wine (burgundy or chianti will do) and one cup of beef broth (you want the meat just covered with liquid). Next add in tomato paste, smashed garlic, thyme, crumpled bay leaf and carrots and onions and mix well. Bring this mixture to a simmer. Place lid on dutch oven and place in middle of oven. The mixture should be at a low simmer (may need to adjust oven temperature). Let this mixture cook slowly for about 3-4 hours until a fork pierces meat easily and is starting to shred (I left mine for 3.5 hours).
While beef is cooking sauté quartered mushrooms in butter on medium to high heat until browned. Set aside. Place pear onions in a small sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and transfer onions to a colander and run cold water over them. The onion skins should easily peal off. Transfer onions to a large sauté pan and add in 1/2 cup of red wine, 1/2 cup of beef broth and a few whole parsley springs. Cover with lid and simmer on low for 40 minutes until most of liquid has been absorbed. Discard the thyme sprigs.
Place a colander or sieve over a sauce pan. Return the drained beef mixture back to dutch oven. Bring leftover broth to a rolling boil to thicken. Add sauce back to beef and vegetables. Add in pearl onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle with parsley. Best served with buttered noodles, mashed potatoes or rice. Mashed potatoes are my favorite ;)