Today is THE DAY. I'm cooking Julia Child's Beef Bourgiugnon (Beef cooked in red wine). I even have a Julia Child Cookbook, although it is not the now-famous "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's called "The French Chef Cookbook."
You start with bacon. Since I only had smoked Wright's bacon from the grocery, I needed to simmer it in some water for about 10 minutes, to get the smokiness and salt out of it.
Then I drained it, and blotted it dry, and cut it into chunks with these handy-dandy kitchen scissors.
While the bacon is slowly frying (to release all its grease), I tend to the beef chunks. They need to be DRY. So I placed them on paper towels and patted them. Julia says they must be very dry.
After the bacon had rendered all its fat, I removed the bacon pieces from their pan, added a bit more cooking oil , heated it until it was almost smoking (REALLY HOT), and started putting the beef chunks in to brown. Don't crowd them! As they brown nicely, remove them from the oil, and place them in a deep cooking pot. Also put the bacon chunks in there. I use a cast iron chicken fryer for my roasts and stews.
When all the beef has been browned, pour off the oil, but allow the dregs to remain in the bottom of the frying pan. Return to the low heat and pour in 3 cups of dark, strong red wine. Deglaze the pan with the wine, getting all the delectable bits from the browning. Then pour all the wine and bits into the cooking pot.
Into this lovely stew pot, also add 2 or 3 cloves or garlic, 1/2 tsp. of thyme (I only had powdered - boo hoo!) a bay leaf, a T of tomato paste, and 2 cups of beef bouillon. The beef should be covered with liquid now. Place the lid on the pot and place in a 325 oven. It should simmer constantly as it cooks.
So, my stew is bubbling away right now! I'll check on it later, finish the recipe, and post more pics for you to drool over :)