Beef Bourguignon (Julia Child)

Julia Child, best know for  Mastering the Art of French Cooking

This recipe seems to take quite a while to make...I think I will need to look at a Saturday afternoon!

Beef Bourguignon 


3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine (burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 small peeled white onions (about 1″ in diameter)
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

Cooking Instructions:

Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Coconut Chicken Soup

Had an amazing soup tonight, thanks to a beautiful friend who I am very thankful for!   She made Coconut Chicken Soup - see link below.

Flavorsome,  light, yet you don't need to find something else to eat😊  Why not try this recipe,  especially as our days become cooler!

Easy Mix Muffins

2 to 2 1/2 cups GF Self Raising Flour
2 eggs (I sometimes add an extra egg with GF SR Flour)
1 cup Rice Malt Syrup (or use honey)
1/2 cup Macadamia oil or a bland low flavour oil 

Beat syrup, oil, eggs together and then add vanilla.

Fold in flour and then fold in your preferred flavourings - orange juice (might need to add a couple of extra tablespoons flour)/lemon and poppy seeds; raspberries/mixed berries/choc chips.  You could leave out vanilla and add in cooked diced bacon and grated cheese or zucchini (or chopped broccoli) and cheese.  How about left over roasted veges chopped finely with grated cheese?  The possibilities are endless 

Spoon into 12 very large cafe style muffin cases or 24 small cup cake cases (you might get a few more depending on what you add to mix!)

Cook 180°C for 15-20mins or until golden and cooked through.

Allow to cool before eating.

Delicious just warm.

I have been able to freeze the combinations I've tried and they are a great addition for lunchboxes.  If you choose to add nuts, please check if your children's school is 'nut free'.


Sarah Wilson's Book "SIMPLICIOUS" is a favourite in my kitchen.  I've learnt heaps from Sarah - her website and books have helped transform the way my family eats.

We used to just eat potatoes, peas, corn, more potatoes, pasta, more pasta.

But now?  Kale, cabbage, beetroot, fennel are regular additions to our diet.  Truthfully we don't eat white potato except on rare occasions - like a special treat "fish n chips" or if we are given potatoes. Usually we eat sweet potatoes but not everyday.

Whilst my freezer used to be filled with meat (we still do eat meat) often you will find bags and containers of cauli rice, broccoli and cauli stems diced, diced carrots, celery and zucchini.  Bags of kale and yes sometime bone broth.

A favourite I like to cook is steamed veges in the steaming attachment of my Thermomix - loaded up with zucchini, cabbage, fennel, carrot, celery, capsicum, peas, kale, spinach.

Another favourite I use my Thermomix steaming attachment for is cauli rice.  I find this is easiest way to prepare whilst sorting out a protein component (usually mince, or steak or maybe....slow cooked pulled beef or lamb...yum!)

So thanks Sarah!  Keep up the great work and receipes...

Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

Why not try something a little different from vanilla cupcakes?  Personally I would lower sugar content or replace with Rice Malt Syrup, however this is a great way to use lemons (or oranges) to make a great treat or lunchbox item for the kids - big or small!

what caroline cooked: Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins: We always have some sort of citrus in our fruit bowl. I wanted to make some morning tea treats for the kids' lunchboxes and come up with...

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Living in Far North Queensland in Australia is one of the most beautiful places in the world!  I'm happily married with children and enjoy living life everyday.  Life isn't always fun or easy, but it is character building and changing and this makes it exciting.  I don't want to live a boring life - I want to live a life that makes a difference!  How about you?