A classic dish that is in no way trendy but just perfect for today; so soul satisfying and delicious…but trust me, this is not your mother’s beef stew!
I’ve always loved Julia Child. Watching her on PBS was my first ‘Julia’ experience, cooking from ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ brought us closer together and though I know she was not pleased with a blogger using her masterpiece to garner attention; I hope she knows this ode is an acknowledgment of all that I love about her. Her joie de vivre, her amazing talent, her food and yes…her height, something else we share!
I had never made Julia’s Beef Bourguignon, I admit. Maybe because I just presumed it would be another beef stew similar to the mainstay of our childhood. Though my Mom was a very good cook, it had never been a dish I felt particularly keen to prepare. Then I paid attention to the ingredients; red wine (uh, OK!), bacon, sauteed fresh mushrooms and braised pearl onions? This was most definitely not what I expected and I knew this would be the perfect dish to prepare on my birthday when I had already decided to take the day off to cook. With Julia. Not for a birthday party per se though I did have friends coming for dinner but just because I love giving myself a day to cook. I love the process as much as the results and had some willing participants to enjoy those results and so it was. Happy Birthday! To me.
This is not a difficult dish but it does take some time so get some good red wine to drink and use for the Beef Bourguignon and have a day of it like I did; you won’t regret it! I kept one of Julia’s DVD’s on so really it was her and I cooking in my kitchen, the whole day!
While the beef was cooking in the oven, I made everything else using my new favorite 4 quart MansPan with steamer insert and lid. Check out the details after the recipe for a chance to win one of these amazing pans!
Browning the bacon and the beef, sauteing the onion and carrot and then mixing it all together before adding seasoning, covering with wine and broth and putting into the oven. And then waiting while the yummaliciousness fills your home!
I admit I took some license with the process; mostly with bacon. When I have 4 pounds of bacon in my freezer, I’m not inclined to search too far for a solid chunk of bacon which the original recipe calls for and cut it into sticks so I’ve improvised a bit and all was still well with the world!
How good was it? Good enough that the daughter who had only planned to stop by decided she might have time to stay for dinner after all; that’s how good! Next year I’m making this two days beforehand and serving for Christmas!
To have you celebrate with me and my new BFF Julia, I have a contest for you! I was asked to try one of the pieces from the collection of ManPans (although I don’t know boys…Friday it could have easily been renamed; someone would have had to pry it out this Woman’s hands!). I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to really utilize their 4 Quart pan with the steamer insert and this was it. Beyond perfect even!
Although I used a pan from my collection to brown the meat and cook the beef in the oven, I had plenty planned for this pan, man. So, remembering that my integrity can be defined by honest evaluations, I must admit…I LOVE THIS STUFF (there, was that eloquent enough?).
I have a large collection of stainless pots and pans; they’re beautiful and I love working with them but I have never had a great experience with something that is supposed to be non stick. I recently bought a two piece set of Calphalon non-stick skillets as the ones I had been using had seen better days. A couple of months later and they are filled with scratches despite limited use so I was very intrigued by ManPans promises which included a surface that would not scratch (yeah, sure right…huh?).
Julia suggests serving her Beef Bourguignon with boiled potatoes and green peas but I had some newly purchased asparagus and knew exactly what I wanted to do!
During the course of preparing the mushroom and onions for the beef dish, I didn’t gently move my wooden spoon across the surface like I normally do with non stick pans…nope, I used a large metal spoon to make sure they could live up to the claims that the surface would not scratch. Made in the US, eco-friendly, no change in the taste of food? Sounds too good to be true and I’m as skeptical as anyone out there but bottom line everything they promised was true. Heat was distributed evenly, the handle stays cool, and what really made my day? After preparing both the mushrooms and the onions for the beef, I simply wiped out the pan, boiled potatoes in the bottom section of the pan and added the asparagus in the steamer insert a couple of minutes before the potatoes were finished. TWO dishes, ONE pan? Perfect for my four burner cooktop.
No kidding, I love this pan and now…you can too! That may sound a bit like a cheesy infomercial except the winner of this contest gets one exactly like mine, FREE. A 4 quart pan with a steamer insert and a lid; retail value of $135.97. A gift from me, well, actually from Man Pans, to you! I not only loved the quality but this steamer pan was exactly what I had hoped for…a pan that made my job easier. What’s not to love? Here’s what you need to do to enter:
Each item you do will get you ONE chance to win (for a total of 6 chances!). If you ALREADY do any of these things, they DO count so be sure to comment for those items too! You MUST leave each entry as a separate comment or only one comment will count!
- Follow @manpans and @creativculinary on Twitter AND tweet the following statement then come back to this post and tell us you tweeted.
I just entered to win @ManPans 4 Quart Saute Pan w/Steamer Insert from @CreativCulinary http://bit.ly/g0WtLY #giveaway
- Become a FaceBook fan of ManPans.
- This giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Saturday, 12/18/10 at 11:59 pm MST.
- Winner will be drawn via random.org and will be contacted via the email provided on the comment contact form.
- Winner will have until Tuesday (12/21/10) to claim their prize or I will have to choose another winner.
- Winner will receive the ManPans 4 quart saute pan with steamer insert and lid which will ship directly from ManPans.
This giveaway is provided to you by ManPans. The views and opinions expressed are my own and based upon my personal experience with ManPans products. I was given the set of ManPans for this review and contest but I was not monetarily compensated for the review or giveaway.
Good Luck!Want More Cocktails? Check out Friday Cocktails with hundreds of fantastic drinks! →