31 – A Very Joyful Beef Bourguignon

What a week! After spending a very rushed weekend in B.C.’s Okanagan tasting and purchasing wines with my lovely wife, I returned home to a very harsh reality: I had one week to go before Spring Break. That may seem like a wonderful thing (and as of now, it is), but at the time it meant a week of chaos was about to be upon me.

With projects due, and marks in dire need of updating, I had to do the unthinkable: take a hiatus from blogging. I don’t know if it was due to the stress of an insane work-week, or my break from blogging that I was essentially forced to take, but I was miserable.

It probably didn’t help that the two new meals I cooked this week were both disliked by my wife. My polenta was nothing like she’s ever tasted (which, unfortunately, was the opposite of what I was going for), and she couldn’t even finish my lemon shrimp orzo combo (somewhat understandable considering she isn’t a huge fan of either lemon or shrimp).

So yeah, a bit of a bummer week. Thankfully, I now have over two weeks off from work, and a delayed honeymoon to Cuba coming up in a week. To make things even better, my wife decided to take the reigns tonight when it came to meal planning. After those two unsuccessful meal attempts, she decided I needed to switch up cookbooks and go for something classic: The Joy of Cooking’s Beef Bourguignon.

If you don’t own The Joy of Cooking, then I highly recommend you purchasing it immediately. Much more than a mere cookbook, it’s essentially an encyclopedia of food. Not only that, but the food contained in its pages is consistently delicious. Tonight’s Beef Bourguignon was no exception. If you own the book, look up the recipe and give it a try. If you don’t own it, be thankful for this resource we have called “the internet”. After a quick search, I found that once again there are those online who are more than willing to copy out recipes whether they should or not. For tonight’s dish, allow me to direct you to thecomfortofcooking.com, where The Joy of Cooking’s Beef Bourguignon is detailed in all it’s glory. In the online version I’m directing you towards, there’s mention of celery, but that found its way into neither the official printed version of the recipe nor the version I cooked and consumed tonight.

Not only was the end result of tonight’s cooking simply amazing, but it made the house smell incredible. Once the beef started browning away in the Dutch oven, I knew we were in for something special. I deviated very little from the recipe, only adding a bit of water to counteract the richness of the sauce that had reduced a bit more than was probably intended. Aside from that, the dish was exactly as outlined by the encyclopedia makers. It was by no means a quick and easy process, but it was well worth all the fuss.

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Roughly a quarter pound of smoked bacon ready to spread delicious aromas throughout the house.
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The first half of the beef being browned. How you’re supposed to tell when the beef has browned after it marinated in red wine for three hours is beyond me. I thought it looked brown before even putting it in the pot.
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Meet removed and the veggies from the marinade tossed in. I honestly find it odd that the recipe didn’t call for more than a single carrot, but who am I to question The Joy of Cooking?
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The pearl onions you see here were a complete pain in the ass to prep. It was my first time working with them, though. In the future, I’ll need to find a quick and easy way to peel them.
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The cremini mushrooms awaiting their turn in the Dutch oven.
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Serving time. The sauce definitely had a good thickness to it, and that was even after watering it down a bit. The kneaded butter helped, of course.
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The final product, inside the most French-looking thing I could find in the house. We had a Paris mug as well, but I think it was broken in a move, so Montreal had to suffice.

Thankfully, my blog-less week is over, and I have a lot more time on my hands. I just hope that my next few dishes are as successful and tasty as this one. As with each of the past few weekends, I’m sharing this with The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday. Anyways, until next time – happy cooking.

Oh

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13 thoughts on “31 – A Very Joyful Beef Bourguignon

  1. Well done! Looks delicious…I wonder if we would appreciate the “good” meals as much if we didn’t have the occasionally, “I’ll NEVER make that again meal”? 🙂 I love beef bourguignon, and with the chilly weather I’d love to have this in front of me now! Happy honeymooning…hope you have a fabulous time in Cuba and enjoy some good, authentic Cuban food! Thanks for sharing this with Fiesta Friday!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I definitely agree that failure is almost necessary sometimes to appreciate the great meals. Totally excited for the Cuban food…and drinks…and the culture as well, obviously. Happy Fiesta Friday!

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  2. Your Beef Bouruignon looks delicious! Blogging is like a family member. Sometimes you don’t like them and they can be controlling but you miss them when they aren’t around? I look forward to hearing about Cuba. I’ve never been there.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. I have absolutely loved blogging so far, but it has drained my energy at work, so I have to learn to work in moderation. I’ll definitely have to blog a bit about my Cuba trip. Actually, the bbq’d chicken I’m doing tonight is inspired by Cuban cuisine, so that’ll get me even more excited about the trip.

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    1. Thanks, but she’s actually the adventurous one when it comes to food. There are a few things she doesn’t appreciate as much (like when food is too lemony, or when I try something from her childhood and it isn’t quite the same). She actually pushes me to try new things all the time. As for rabbit, she’s not a huge fan of animals like me, but she loves bunnies too much for me to cook one up for her.

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      1. It sounds like you get along very well :). Enjoy cooking and eating together! Rabbit is a very healthy meat, but I agree that you need the right mental set for it – and bunnies aren’t for everybody…

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