Monday, January 11, 2010

Christening of the Le Creuset

Guess what Little Ms. Homemaker got for Christmas this year from her wonderful, fabulous, and handsome husband....
My very own LE CREUSET!!!!
I have lusted for one of these for 3 years...and now my life is complete. I've got my very own Oval French Oven beauty!

The fact that I had finally received this unbelievable gift was a bit overwhelming. I couldn't just use it for any old recipe, it had to be special. Throughout the holiday season I experienced a series of events that led me to the perfect dish to christen my Le Creuset...

  1. Family/friends reading the blog were almost always bring up the movie, Julie & Julia. Very predictably each would ask if it was the motivation to do the blog...which sorry, no (I hadn't even seen the movie yet!).
  2. J&J finally came out on DVD, so I rented and watched.
  3. Christmas morning = Le Creuset woohoo!
SOOO on the eve before this eventful day where I would christen my new treasure, I did finally use J&J (which friends B&A so kindly gifted us just days before) to inspire my recipe selection...can you guess what I decided to make?!?

Yup, that's right...the classic of classics.

A slow cooked, attention demanding, day long adventure
in creating my very first Boeuf Bourguignon!


Here we go...

We begin with blanching the bacon.
I have never heard of, or even seen this done before!

One recipe online stated this removes some of the saltiness.
Sounds reasonable to me, unless someone else has a better one?!?!

Not handy enough to have fresh homemade beef stock on hand, I had to buy some already made. I do not typically purchase the Rachael Ray stocks, figuring it's kind of a marketing gimmick and not worth the extra $0.30, but for this recipe I figured I'd honor Julia Child with a modern food star's mass produced product.

Rachael meet Julia.

The blanched bacon is laid to dry.

Boiler/pearl onions.

Blanching in beef stock.

Following their beef stock bath...

they are a tad brown in color and softened.


It's what's for dinner.

Another key to the beef, which is made obvious in the movie and Julia's recipe, is that the hardy chunks need to be dried or they will not brown properly.

The bacon goes back into the pan with some oil.

The fat is rendered out...

the pieces crisped up and then placed into the Le Creuset.

The beef is added in small batches to the oil/bacon fat mixture.

Each hunk browned.

The crispy bacon patiently waiting...

for the addition of the beef.

Looks so lovely in the new shiny Le Creuset, don't you think?!?!

Oops, dropped a piece for my little helper!

The chunks are coated with a sprinkle of four.
That's a lot of beefy yumminess right there!

One carrot and a single onion are browned and added to the mixture of meats.

Just patiently waiting for me to drop some more tasties for him to clean up :o)

Our seasonings...
which by the way I'll have you know,
I did fight the urge to up the amount of garlic -
a true display of self restraint here!

Thyme, crushed bay leaf, garlic and a bottle of wine are added.

Beef stock joins the party and then we're off to the oven!

As the magic in the oven begins, the mushrooms are prepared.

Mushrooms & butter, classic!

Here is where I believe my recent craving for mushrooms originated.

They were sooo unbelievably tasty!!

Blanched onions and buttery mushrooms join the party...
we're almost done!

Ok, I give you...
Boeuf Bourguignon!!
I was not beat by this classic of classics!
A truly fantabulous creation, which only got better as leftovers.
This dish happily recieved a 9+ on the hubby's opinion scale (Wow!).
Completing this recipe was an incredible experience!!
Achieving the famous dish provided a level of accomplishment, which I have not yet felt in my cooking experience.
To truly understand I urge you to give it a try...
you won't be disappointed!


  1. A House is not complete without a Le Creuset. Think of all the meals you'll make in it for a lifetime. Your husband will have his investment paid back a hundred times over...dividends in love.