Monday, January 4, 2010

Dear Julia,

I watched the movie Julie & Julia for the second time this weekend. (Sorry but my dad thought it was pretty boring). I don't think it is. It makes me really happy to spend an hour or so watching people who clearly love food and love to cook. I was all jealous and daydreaming about someone calling me from The Food Network someday.

Hopefully by then my parents will actually have The Food Network again.

Stupid Cablevision.

But anyway this was not the point of my letter.

The point is today when I got back to NYC I made a quick stop to the grocery store and I had this overwhelming impulse to make some some sort of beef stew. It was cold and blustery - the perfect day for such a thing.

Then I got to thinking - maybe I should be ambitious. Maybe I should make your Boeuf Bourguignon. Maybe I could say "Boeuf Bourguignon" to the guy at the meat counter like Julie said it in the movie.

But then I came home, looked up the recipe online and said "Screw that. I'm going with the super easy version."

Plus Morton Williams barely has a deli counter let alone a butcher.

Je suis désolée,

And merci beaucoup Mark Bittman. Your version is not only simple - it's simply de-licious.

I have much love for his book How To Cook Everything. Next to my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook - I think it's the most user friendly and simple cookbook around.

This post reminds me that I need to use my SLR much more often. I love that camera so, so much it's not normal.

I started with about a pound of beef.

Browned it per Mark's instructions.

Took it out and started on the onions.

While they browned I got the stock ready (I used 2 cups of stock and a half cup red wine shown here with the potatoes and garlic I added later).

I added flour to the onions....

Then the stock and spices. They did not have fresh thyme at the store so I improvised with Italian Seasoning since it has thyme in it. Plus a fresh bay leaf. I need to add another one I think. It's not as potent as dried.

After 30 min or so of simmering I added the carrots...

and the taters....

Then let it sit on low heat for about an hour and a half.

And while I waited I ate this...leftover artichoke dip and pita chips from NYE.

Which I got rid of afterwards because I don't need the temptation. :)

Back to the stew. At the very last minute I added the garlic and peas.

and parsley...

Served with red wine like a grown up.

Really. It was fantastic - if I do say so myself.


  1. Oh my, that looks delicious. I just watched that movie for the first time this weekend and I LOVED it. I really loved all of the sound editing they did - making any kind of bite or chew super crisp and poignant, etc, etc. Great film.

  2. It was. :) You know I didn't think about it but now that you say it they did do a great sound editing job.

    I love any movie about food. Or any movie with Meryl Streep. Either or. :)