The second recipe of our France Month was a highly anticipated meal. To make it a grand event, we invited some good company (Messieurs Nate, Spencer, Alan and Dr. Boyd of Toledo). I baked fresh, rustic loaves of bread, brewed a homemade batch of ginger ale, and topped it all off with a fresh lemon meringue pie.
But truly, the highlight of the evening was the classic French stew. This dish is the epitome of comfort in a bowl. The broth, including one bottle of red wine & a splash of cognac, was delicious and complex. The fresh thyme made it smell and taste quintessentially French, and the applewood bacon left a flavorful fat to sear the beef and create the base of the stock.
Like Ratatouille, this dish used to be associated with peasants. Over the years, the stew has been developed and reinterpreted as a more luxurious meal. Originating from Burgundy, southeast of Paris, this stew gain special recognition from the one and only, Julia Child, who brought French cuisine into American homes with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
So invite over the people you love, turn on some Edith Piaf, and pour the wine. Break loaves of bread, smear butter on each slice, and savor each soulful bite. Et non, je ne regrette rien!
- Olive oil
- Applewood smoked bacon
- Chuck beef
- Yellow onions
- 1 Bottle red wine, Pinot Noir or Cote du Rhone preferably
- Beef broth
- Tomato paste
- Fresh thyme
- Frozen whole onions
- Edith Piaf, the eternal songstress of France. Give her a music a listen while you cook to create une ambiance très française! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFzViYkZAz4&index=2&list=RDQ3Kvu6Kgp88
- In the mood for instrumental music? Here is a soundtrack for a favorite French movie of mine, Amélie