I made this for my Dad's 80th birthday (eve). My Mom, Dad and I had a nice, cozy evening before the next day's big festivities. Jillian's last Christmas Ballet, and then a Birthday Party with friends and family. So we needed something easy, but delicious and filling. It was a good kind of thing, when you want to be able to start something, and then not really mess with it.
Last year, I made Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon. It has many of the same techniques (though fussier), but here's the one that I tend to think about - dry the meat before you fry it! Which is excellent advice - but my mind wanders to - what did all of those French people do before there were paper towels? If you've ever seen an early video of Julia Child on TV, she'd practically use an entire roll when making a recipe!! So before paper - who did all of that laundry??? Certainly country cooks wouldn't want to do all of that! I will likely probably never know, but it makes me wonder - all of these old French techniques that I wouldn't dream of if I had to wash all of those towels (by hand!).
|ingredients... I had never used parsnips before, so that was something fun and new|
I also hadn't had brandy or cognac in a stew...
|mmmm.... bacon frying|
|the first of about 4 sessions of browning the meat|
|nicely browned beef, nicely crisped bacon|
|my vegetables with their turn in the oil |
I love using the halved heads of garlic - yum!
|my stew ready for the oven|
I started fearing for it, since the pot was so full - but no worries, it wasn't a problem
|our finished dish|
served simply with some crusty French rolls
I think that some mashed potatoes would have been nice, too