Just like the rest of you, I read "Julie and Julia" a million years ago and I've been meaning to make beef bourguignon ever since. Its very name makes it sound like the Mt. Everest of cooking, but fear not, it's not too hard....unless it turns out you're missing half the ingredients like I always am.
Ina Garten told me to start by frying up some bacon in my dutch oven, but I found, naturally, that my bacon had gone bad. Story of my life...that's what happens when I thought I was making this weeks ago. But I pressed on, searing the beef and setting it aside.
In the same pot, I tossed in pearl onions and carrots with salt and pepper, then cooked them until they were just getting soft and added minced garlic, which I cooked for a couple minutes.
The part that came next was the scariest part, as it always is: lighting cognac on fire!
I poured the cognac in, stood back, went to light it on fire and then...nothing happened. Until it did, and then I screamed a little. I just let it burn off. I then added nearly an entire bottle of red wine. Pinot Noir or Cote du Rhone is recommended, but of course I wasn't prepared for that. So Cab Sauvignon it was! I also added beef broth until the meat was almost covered.
The entire dish went into the oven, preheated to 250. I then let it bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, then added a mixture of butter and flour to thicken the sauce. I brought the mixture to a boil, let it simmer for 15 minutes and then spooned it over a toasted piece of sourdough bread.
It was all delicious. I will admit the meat was tougher than I would've liked...I probably seared it too long in the beginning. But ultimately, it was scrumptious and great winter snow day eating.