Thursday, May 26, 2011

Almost everyday I find myself sitting and trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Growing up in farm country in the midwest, I never really had the opportunity to experience not only many ethnic foods, but gourmet foods. I found myself surfing the internet for something different to cook for dinner. I must admit, that many recipes I would look at and would love to try, really intimidated me. I have tried many dishes over the years, but until recently I had not ever tried any French dishes. My knowledge of French cooking is french toast! I thought about what might be a good French dish to start with. Through out my internet searching I had to keep in mind my family. What would they eat? What would not make them run, screaming from the house, heading for the nearest McDonald's or Pizza Hut. I knew it must be meat, as we are carnivores. My search brought me to a recipe that I had not only ran across several times, but one  had recently seen in a movie. I searched many sites and read many different recipes for this dish, most of which were adaptations of Julia Child's. Though, I suppose for beginning French cooking, maybe I was getting ready to take on a bit more that I could handle. After little deliberation I decided if I was going to make a French dish, why not go to the one which obviously was one the best. That is how I decided to make my first true French recipe, Julia Child's  Boeuf Bourguignonne.
 After looking over the recipe for a day or two, I was off to buy the ingredients needed. Some of the internet sites said this recipe was difficult, others said it was moderate. I was, either way ready for the challenge and determined to make this dish, which sounded absolutely wonderful. While this dish was very time commercing to make, I did not feel it was difficult at all. Even though it did take a while to prepare this dish, it was worth every second I spent standing in the kitchen. It was truly one of the most wonderful meals I had ever tasted in my life. My family also agreed that this was a wonderful dish. There were no left overs and now they are waiting for me to make this again, which I know I will be doing very soon. There are many side dishes that could be made to compliment this dish, Julia Child's receipe suggests serving with boiled potatoes, rice or noodles. I decided on potatoes, which I baked with sea salt. The broth in this French stew is so delicious I am glad I decided on potatoes, so that every last drop could be consumed. Another side dish which Julia suggests is buttered peas.
The only real difficulty I ran across was finding the right wine for this dish. I am not a wine person, so it was difficult for me to know what was a good wine to use and which ones would not do so well. Choosing a wine for this dish is something in which, I am sure everyone would have a different opinion on.  I found no recipe that stated using any particular wine, other than a Burgundy. While searching for a Burgundy wine, I found there were an over abundance of those. I ended up settling on a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Next time I make this delicious French dish, I will try another wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon did make a wonderful Boeuf Bourguignonne.
I am sure no matter which wine you choose to use, it will still be wonderful. I hope you will try this dish, I am sure once you do, you will agree that is is one of the best things you have ever eaten. Once you have cooked this wonderful recipe, please let me know what you think and if you found any helpful hints in which I can pass along.

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