Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I have owned the Les Halles cookbook since the day it came out. Have I ever once cooked something out of it? No.
Until tonight! After a long day of hard reading (Bourdieu anyone? UGH. But sort of in a good, brain-massaging way. Sort of. I digress. Finals, sorry) I came home, mentally exhausted. But my body was restless.
Moments like these are just made for a good cooking project, and as it happened there lurked in my kitchen 3 open, but barely touched, bottles of red wine. Clearly, this called for Boeuf Bourguignon! And not just any would do, oh no! I wanted to slave away for a while, I wanted exhaustion, anticipation, heat, slicing and searing, maillard reactions!
Clearly a job for my love, the guru, the self-effacing stud-muffiniest : Anthony Bourdian and his fabulous Les Halles cookbook. Most of the recipes in this book call for things that I will likely never go buy, like pigs blood. This one, however, is blessedly simple.
2lbs beef (I bought stewing beef, he calls for shoulder)
6 carrots, chopped in 1 inch pieces
4 onions ( I used 3, it was plenty)sliced thinly
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
1 cup decent red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1. Get all your ducks in a row. Get the olive oil heating up, almost smoking.
2. MEAT. People like meat. Put salt and pepper on it.
3. Brown the meat. Don't grey it, get it good and maillard-y.
4. Take all the meat out. Drool at it for a sec.
5. Dump the onions into the meaty residue. Let them cook. 15ish minutes. After 10, add a little flour. This will smell very good.
6. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Bring it to a boil, and simmer briefly.
Are your carrots and bouquet garni ready yet?
7. Add everything to the pan.
8. Add enough water to cover it all. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours.
9. Serve. He says it's better the next day, so tomorrow night we're going to eat it with baguette and wine and cheese and salad and friends! You should too! Mmmmm.
10. Make like me and have a night of it! Put on some Bruce Springsteen and Bangles goodness, and your favorite cute apron, pour yourself a glass of wine and get cooking! AnthBo would.
Minus the apron maybe.