Monday, November 30, 2009



Have you ever gone to the movies and watched the actors on screen eating a sumptuous meal or a burger with everything or licking a dripping ice cream cone and as soon as the movie was over you had to have whatever it was those characters were eating? Sure you have. Right?!

Well, the first time I clearly remember this happening was years ago when I was a young career girl living in Manhattan. My brother, Erica (a BFF at the time) and I went to an 11:00am “east side” showing of “Godfather II.” The movie had just opened so we met early, skipping breakfast just to make sure we got in. We were mesmerized. But, as soon as the movie was over we HAD to have spaghetti. I mean we really HAD to have spaghetti. Not accomplished cooks at the time, and not wanting to hunt for a ‘red sauce’ Italian restaurant, we grabbed some pasta, a jar of marinara sauce and a loaf of Italian bread in a neighborhood market and rushed back to Erica’s apartment and made ourselves the whole pound of spaghetti and baked the bread with butter and garlic salt. We devoured it all in minutes and loved every morsel.

Fast forward to 2009 and “Julie & Julia.” The minute Richard and I came out of that movie he HAD to buy Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook.

Why? Because he HAD to make Julia’s boeuf (beef) bourguignon! Following suit in Sacramento, the minute my brother came out of the movie he, too, HAD to buy the cookbook so that he could make the same dish. No more spaghetti sauce in a jar. No more garlic salt. No more instant gratification. They want to make the real deal. I’m all for that because I love eating the real deal.

So when Richard and I had decided to head to northern California for Thanksgiving week (a couple of days with Brother Bob and his wife Nguyen in Sacramento and then to Cousin Linda and her husband John’s for turkey day), Bob decided to make us the boeuf bourguignon.

We arrived in Sacramento last Monday just in time for the cocktail hour and as we walked into their wonderful California craftsman bungalow, the aromas of sautéing mushrooms and little white onions filled the air.

 Did I mention there was also an apple pie baking in the oven?

 My stomach growled with anticipation, but dinner wasn’t going to be ready for an hour or two, so we quickly put out a cheese plate and opened a bottle of chardonnay (for me) as the guys sipped some single malt while the red wine breathed.

Except for the onions and mushrooms, Bob and Nguyen had prepared most of the dish the day before. While it was warming hy made some wide egg noodles and the veggie side.

As I smelled all the different flavors, I imagined how the bourguignon would taste.

When the dinner was final ready and the Turnbull merlot had finished breathing, we dug in.

As wonderful as I imagined this dish, it was nothing compared to the actual eating.

It was simply perfect.  I loved every gourmet morsel.

Whether you saw “Julie & Julia” or not, if you’ve ever wanted to make this dish… do it! It’s worth every chopping, slicing, measuring, sautéing moment.

Bon Appetit!


Richard said...

I can still taste it! What a great recipe... and without it, would "Mastering..." have been published? It was the test recipe for the editor that cemented her deicision to push for publication.

bobsaari said...

I will definitely cook it again. Nguyen says I need to make it once a week! Cousin Linda says it's all about the beef-Cousin John the wine. I say both and do it a day before!

ilona saari said...

Well, however you did it - it was really delicious!!! Hope you liked the pix.

MickMil said...

Sounds fantastic!

Since I saw the movie, I've been planning to make it for the family Xmas week in Sarasota. Any other secret tips?

Anonymous said...

The pictures are a wonderful way for us to share the taste of the Boeuf Bourguignon...and the last pic where the plate is empty makes we feel full!

Richard said...

Secret tip:
Have everyone make it together... a bonding thing. Bon Appetit!