Thursday, October 4, 2012

Channeling Julia

Earlier this week I channeled one of my idols, Julie Child (read “Dearie” and you’ll see why), and made Boeuf Bourguignon, which is French for over complicated beef stew with three pages worth of directions. Following directions is hard for me.  My mother in-law and I decided once to make Hudson a monkey birthday cake and ditched the instructions after step 1.  This resulted in a cake that prompted my husband to ask why the monkey had three nostrils.  So it is with pride that I say I made it through the whole thing without cheating.  Except, for pre-cut beef.  I couldn’t find uncut stewing meat at Target.  It doesn’t count.
Actually, this was more that just three pages of instructions because some of the instructions reference other pages with more detailed instructions.  I love Julia Child but she could be kind of an ass.  On page two you get to “prepare the onions and mushrooms”.  What do you mean prepare them?  Don’t I just dump them into this whole mess?  No, you do not.  You have to go to page 483 and find out how to braise small white onions which involves simmering for 40-50 minutes, not to mention you have peel 18-24 small white onions.  I have therefore decided small white onions are the tiny bastards of the onion world.  But I did it.  Preparing the mushrooms leads you to page 513 with a whole other page of instructions.  But I did it.  I followed the instructions down to “pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.  Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it.”  Now you’re just screwing with me Julia.  Unless the point was working out my biceps lifting the heavy casserole dish, this step seems to have been completely pointless.  But I followed her instructions like she was watching over me and would strike me down in a storm of butter and lightening if I skipped skimming the fat off the sauce.

Ok, I did skip one step but it was optional.  You could choose to “arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley”.  After hours of cooking this stew, I am not cooking one more damn thing and I’m not decorating shit.

It was delicious stew though.

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