I love the classic French Boeuf Bourguignon that Julia Child made famous in America, but with the six hours of prep/cooking time and the expensive bottle of wine it requires, it’s not exactly practical or budget-friendly for this home cook. My version here takes some shortcuts to get this flavorful, hearty, and elegant stew on the table in well under three hours, and I’ve also taken the liberty of substituting a smooth, dry Italian Tuscan wine (sacré bleu!) for the traditional (heavier) French Burgundy. It’s what I love to drink with a fancy dinner anyway, and there are plenty of great bottles for $15 or less. My favorite budget Tuscan is Nobile di Montepulciano, and it works beautifully here to create a stew fit for Tuscan nobles in their wintry villas. Buon Appetito!
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child
Some days I wish Julia Child were with me in the kitchen. By nature, I am the kind who studies a problem from all sides, reads up, prepares. And when nothing goes according to plan, my despair and doubt come flooding in. What made Julia Child so admirable and endearing is not simply a je-ne-sais-quoi attitude, but rather a defiant “je-ne-sais-quoi-but-I-sure-as-hell-can-handle-whatever-comes-my-way” kind of take on life. It’s an attitude I can only aspire to, both in the kitchen and in life. Continue reading