Beef Bourguignon

If you're like me, most of your cookbooks naturally fall open to certain well-used, dog-eared, sticky pages that reveal your family's tried-and-true fave recipes. Today's post contains two of mine: Beef Bourguignon from Silver Palate's New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, and Apple Crisp from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

I've been making this beef dish for more than 15 years and the book's spine is permanently broken at page 536, which is also covered in red wine drips and stains, accumulated over the years as I drank and cooked and maybe even threw some vino into the pot. Usually I double the recipe, eating half that evening and then freezing the remainder. But with my sister and her family for dinner, however, not much was left over this time. Instead of making mashed potatoes to sop up the broth, we made Yorkshire puddings (aka popovers) and these were the hit of the night. My niece Callan ate four and had room for dessert (and she's still as thin as anything). Gotta love teens.

The only reason I keep the Fannie Farmer cookbook is for its recipe for Apple Crisp--not that it's a totally amazing recipe on its own but because it most closely resembled the one Q grew up eating. According to him, his grandmother made the "best ever" apple crisp--but of course never bothered to write down the quantities of her ingredients. Luckily, before she died, I tried to replicate it based on this recipe and this was the result, with lots of hand-written modifications jotted in the margins. She gave it her seal of approval (sometimes hard to get) and then we knew the dish would live on. In our opinion, it's the perfect mix of apple to sweet cinnamony crisp. Served it with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with some dulce de leche (that I now consider a fridge necessity) on top.

Good stick-to-your-ribs meal for a wintry Sunday in Toronto.

Beef Bourguignon
serves 6

8 ounces bacon, cut into small dice
3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped onions
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups Burgundy wine
3 cups beef or chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and julienned
8 oz mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the bacon drippings. Over medium-high heat, saute the beef a few pieces at a time, until browned on all sides.

Add the onions to the beef, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper and the flour. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Add the wine, stock, tomato paste, and rosemary, and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven and bake until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. After about 90 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and mushrooms for the final half-hour.

Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.

from Ina Garten

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus softened butter for greasing pans
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Generously grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.

Apple Crisp
from Fannie Farmer Cookbook (serves 6)

5 cups peeled and sliced apples
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 lb butter in small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 1.5-quart baking dish, spread the apples in it and sprinkle 1/3 cup water on top. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, and rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spread evenly over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is browned.

Rest of the week

January 28 Pizza night

January 29 Dinner out with friends

January 30 Beef Bourguignon, Popovers, Roasted Broccoli and Butternut Squash, Apple Crisp


  1. LOVE Fannie Farmer's Apple Crisp, it's the only kind I've ever made, my dad always makes double the crisp because we like extra of that crispy buttery, goodness.

  2. I made a burgundy beef stew this weekend and shack doesn't want to eat it because he thinks there is too much rosemary! Who knew my bigget stumbling block was going to be the other adults in the house and not the kid?
    I want to make that crisp now


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