French Cooking Part Four: Boeuf Bourguignon

This is Andrea Cowie. She is my beautiful, sassy sister-in-law, and she kicks serious butt in the kitchen.

Here she is, ready to tackle her annual tradition of creating the best tomato sauce. I'm posting this particular photo because I feel it portrays her personality perfectly. 

When I decided to include Boeuf Bourguignon in my French Cooking project I didn't think twice about whom I would make it with. Knowing that it's a challenging recipe, I wanted the security of someone as accomplished—and fun—in the kitchen as Andrea.

We followed the Julia Child recipe. Well, at least 90% of it, until Andrea rebelled. 

Not having cooked from a recipe in years, she cringed when I began reading the instructions and barking out orders. I believe I turned my back for only a moment before she had managed to slice, chop, dice, and toss a few extras into the mix!

Within minutes of getting started we realized what we were in for and popped open a beautiful bottle of Chablis. Two sips in, our Julia Child accents came out—and didn't leave us until after dinner. 

Midway through, Jacqui, my other sister-in-law, dropped by and immediately took on the role as photographer. Her little boy was excited by the chaos and also wanted a part. So I decalared him sous-chef!  

I will never forget the mischievous look on Andrea's face when I questioned her on how the mushrooms got into the pot before the recipe said so. With a little smirk and controlled irritation, she blurted out: "I have quit the recipe!"

I won't go into too many details on our preparation, as the recipe is available on I will, however, mention that we used grass-fed stewing beef, were strict on following the temperatures and cooking times, and that it wasn't actually that difficult.

My suggestion is to enjoy a bottle of some fabulous wine while prepping. And in the end, don't take it too seriously. Have fun with it!

Dinner was a complete success!

Hearing that their meal took five hours to prepare, our nine dinner guests felt an immediate sense of admiration (at least that's what I'm telling myself). Who cooks for five hours!?!

Without Andrea's help and carefree nature I would have been a complete stress case trying to accomplish such a meal on my own.

Thank you Andrea for such a wonderfully fun afternoon. You are truly a goddess in the kitchen!

Up next: Crêpes àla confiture de fraises