Dee, Candis and I decided that our second “cooking together” blog project would be a tribute to each of our favorite chefs. Pick your favorite chef, cook a dish and blog about it. That simple! I picked Julia Child as my favorite chef. And decided to make her boeuf bourguignon recipe.
I read up on Julia Child and Sunday was the big day for me to make the beef dish and write about it.
I did not know about Julia Child till last year. I had heard about her but my interest in her greatly increased when I saw the movie “Julie & Julia”. I even bought her cookbooks “Mastering the art of French cooking” and read up on her a great deal. What an inspirational woman! I was inspired enough to want to try French cooking.
Saturday night I headed to the grocery store with my list. As I was shopping for the items to make the boeuf bourguignon, it occurred to me that Julia Child was not really my favorite chef. Don’t get me wrong, I think she is a remarkable woman and I am sure she was an amazing chef, but she is not my inspiration to get into the kitchen everyday.
That is because the chef I admire the most and want to be like the most is my mother. My mom follows no recipes but can come up with the most amazing dishes with just what she has on hand and what she has learned along her culinary journey. She used to run a successful business, take care of an entire household and yet have hot homemade meals ready for us every evening.
I didn’t appreciate her efforts much back then. But now, I strive to be like her everyday. Love you mom. You are a true rock star!
In her honor, I made a lamb stew. I made it using ingredients I had on hand and added various touches from different recipes I have tried so far. Julia Child’s stew recipe was a huge influence. Bon Appétit!
About the recipe: It is a rather lengthy process to make the stew. Be sure to make this on a day when you have time for it.
Slow Cooker Lamb Stew:
*Feeds 6-8 hungry people
*Prepartion time: 1 hr
*Cook time: 7-8 hours on low
Before starting out on the recipe make sure to have the slow cooker ready to go.
2-3 pounds of lamb stew meat (I bought the kind with bones because that was all that available at the store late on a Saturday night)
2-3 tbsp of oil
Lamb masala ingredients:
3.5 cups chopped onion – need not be too fine
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 serrano pepper cut into two (do not de-seed)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
3-4 fresh cloves
1 inch piece of Indian cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1 can of stewed tomatoes (I got the kind with celery, onion and chili peppers)
1/4 unbleached all purpose flour
3 tbsp butter chopped
1/3 cup wine (to pour over lamb)
A few sprigs of Thyme
3-4 bay leaves
3.5 cups of 1/2 pieces of chopped potatoes (about 10-12 baby potatoes)
2 cups of 1/2 pieces of carrot (I used about 4-5 carrots)
*For sauteed pearl onions*
12-18 pearl onions
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1.5 tbsp olive oil
*For sauteed mushrooms*
2.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup wine
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Sear the meat on both sides. Make sure to pat dry the meat and brown it in a hot pan with olive oil. Make sure to brown the meat in batches. Place the browned meat in the slow cooker
2. To the same pan add the one tablespoon of olive oil, fry the first 9 ingredients of the lamb masala ingredients till the onions is lightly brown. Grind to a fine paste by adding water very little at a time on a need be basis. Add salt to taste.
3. Pour this masala mixture over the lamb
4. Open the can of stewed tomatoes and pour over the masala-meat mixture
5. Combine the butter and all purpose flour and add to the meat mixture.
6. Pour the 1/3 cup wine and mix to combine.
7. Tie the thyme sprigs and bay leaves in a cheese cloth and place it on top of the mixture. As you will see in the pic, I did not have the cheese cloth readily available so I just placed the thyme sprigs and bay leaves on top of the mixture to remove once the stew was done
8. Let the meat cook on low for 5 hours.
In the mean time, get the vegetables ready for the stew.
9. Chop the carrots & potatoes, if you haven’t already done so. Put them in the refrigerator till you are ready to use.
10. Boil water in a pot. When the water starts boiling, add the pearl onions to it, and set aside covered. This will make it easy to peel.
11. While the onions are softening, in the same pan that used to sear the lamb and saute the masala mix, get the mushrooms ready. I love sauteing mushrooms in oil, wine, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. So that’s what I did.
12. Peel the onions and pat dry. Make sure they are dry before adding them to the pan. In the same pan as above, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onions. Let them get nice and caramelized. Then add in the honey/vinegar mix and cook till the sauce is reduced and thickened.
14. Once the lamb has cooked for 5 hours, add in the vegetables. Top the vegetables with mushrooms and the onions. Be sure to remove the bay leaf and the thyme before you add in the veggies and mushrooms and onions. You can place the bay leaves on top of all the layers if you so wish. Let it cook for another 3 hours.
While the lamb is cooking, get the greens beans and garlic knots ready. I sauteed the greens beans in olive oil, chopped garlic and some sliced mushrooms.
Once the lamb stew is cooked, serve over rice with the green beans and garlic knots. Enjoy~!