Hello old friend. We meet again.
Last time we talked, I nearly burned my apartment down trying to make your Coq au Vin. It was a real freaking disaster, Julia. But you know what? It’s your birthday, I’m hungry, and I want to make amends. Let’s try this again.
Today we’re going with your Beef Bourguignon. I’ve got the recipe here. I’ve got some pots and pans and stuff. Let’s make some food, Jules!
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
BOOM. Oven on. We’re doing it! Let’s go!
Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons. Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
Here we go again with the god damn lardons. I still don’t know what a lardon is, Jules. If I remember correctly, before I nearly burned down the house last time, is that they were bacon sticks that you use to rub on other pieces of meat. So do I need to get sticks to stick into the bacon?
And what the hell is up with removing the bacon rind? Still no rind here, Julia. It’s just bacon. Bacon does not have a rind.
I’m cutting it into strips and throwing it in with the water. Why? Because that’s all I got, Julia.
Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to side dish with a slotted spoon.
Flameproof casserole? I have a “pan.” So that’s what I’m going with. A pan. OK. OK. We’re OK here. The bacon strips are smelling good. They’re off to the side. I didn’t use a slotted spoon, but guess what, Julia? I’m my own man. And I get to choose the way I want to live my life.
Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking.
How the fuck am I supposed to know if something is “almost smoking?” I guess I’ll look for signs of smoking intent. Waiting for this bacon fat to look up and grimace at me, or something.
Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides.
We got a hell of a mess here, Julia. Bacon fat is all over the place. Beef is bacon-ifying, I guess. It’s, it’s getting pretty gnarly. I’m not going to lie.
Add it to the lardons.
I’ll add it to your lardons.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables.
Wait, we’re supposed to have the vegetables pre-sliced? Fuck. OK. Give me those onions and the mushrooms, and we’re just going to cut these guys up as the bacon is still…
Pour out the excess fat.
I’m still cutting here, Julia! I got a pound of god damned mushrooms here, that I have to quarter, and I don’t even know what that means. Just give me a second…
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly.
Hold on. Almost got the mushrooms done here and if I just…AH. OH. OH NO. Julia. My finger. I cut it. I cut it. What do I do? I don’t want to look at it. I think it’s bad.
Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
I LOOKED AT IT. JULIA I LOOKED AT IT. IT’S FUCKING GUSHING. IT’S REALLY FLOWING, JULIA. OH NO. OH NO. WHAT DO I DO? DO I RUN IT UNDER HOT WATER? DO I OWN BAND AIDS?
Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust). Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
JULIA THE HOT WATER ISN’T DOING ANYTHING AND I DON’T OWN BAND AIDS. THE BACON IS STILL COOKING BUT THE MUSHROOMS AND THE SINK ARE COVERED IN BLOOD. JULIA DO I CALL 911? IT’S LIKE GOD DAMN CARRIE IN HERE. HOW MUCH BLOOD IS TOO MUCH BLOOD? HOW MUCH BLOOD IS TOO MUCH BLOOD?
Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
I’M CALLING 911 JULIA. I’M FEELING LIGHTHEADED AND THERE’S BLOOD ALL OVER THE GOD DAMN PLACE. YOU DID IT AGAIN, JULIA. YOU GOT ME AGAIN.