The day after we’d arrived home from Florida, we decided to make my birthday dinner and have some friends over to enjoy it with us. I knew exactly what I wanted- Julia’s Boeuf Bourguingnon and the Reine de Saba (Chocolate Cake with Almonds). So, after waking up Friday morning, I got straight to the store to pick up a few things for my day of cooking! If anyone is curious, I still purchased local & organic when I could, and I maintain that it does translate to better flavor- especially with beef.
Both of these recipes are nearly synonymous with Julia Child herself, and have approximately 80-million posts on blogs across the blogosphere, so I will not post the recipes yet again- at the risk of becoming ad nauseum. But, here is a great link to her Boeuf Bourguignon with wine and sides suggestions. Thank you, Oprah!
I love this book! I love how it has the name in French, followed in parentheses by the English. It forces me to dust the cobwebs off of some of that high school French I took. I have been waiting years for this moment- the moment I get to make her famous Boeuf Bourguingnon. The time has come!
Here is the stew about halfway through the cooking process, looking fabulous:
…and the finished product gracing some whole wheat gnocchi! Completely delicious.
I learned, if nothing else, that you can take even the cheapest cut of meat, and stew it down for hours, and it WILL be delicious. Julia was a genius. This was even better than I had hoped it would be. Ultimately, I braised it in the oven for an extra hour, to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors further. Boy, was it worth it.
On the side, we enjoyed green bean casserole made with the leftover frozen Cream of Mushroom Soup from a January post. It was incredible, too!
At last, dessert- the Reine de Saba (Chocolate Cake with Almonds). It was sinfully delicious- somewhat of a less-flour chocolate cake, but not a “flourless” chocolate cake. Similar to a lava cake, but not quite lava-ey. It was downright fabulous. And small enough that I hopefully didn’t get into too much trouble with the calories. I did, however, use whole wheat pastry flour in this cake- and not a single person could taste any difference. I feel like the texture was better with the pastry flour, too, rather than even a white flour. I will also admit, that rather than using rum, I substituted Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. So it essentially became a chocolate-raspberry-almond cake. Fabulous!
Anyway, here is the fabulous recipe: Reine de Saba.
And the baked and finished product:
Above, with black raspberries, picked by yours truly during their peak of ripeness in the summertime, and frozen. What an incredible addition!
Try it all, you’ll love it! 🙂