Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pork Bourguignon - With Apologies to Julia Child

Julia Child would roll over in her Bordeaux wine cask if she could see what The 99 Cent Chef has done to her classic Beef Bourguignon recipe! And she would do a double-roll upon viewing my takeoff of her in my extra featurette video at the end of this blog post.

Now doesn't it look like Beef Bourguignon? Well, it also tastes like it. This melange of meat, red wine, mushrooms and Pearl Onions is luscious, and the most expensive entree in any high-end restaurant; however this cheapie cooking plagiarist has come up with a 21 Century classic for these Wall Street stock-crashing times: Pork Bourguignon!

My earliest food influence (besides mom) was watching "The French Chef With Julia Child" on Boston Public Television's WGBH (keep those funds flowing to public TV & radio, Obama). I was too young to copy her classic French cuisine, but her enthusiasm at the stove planted a virus that mutated into 99 Cent Chef cuisine -- cheap recipes presented with joie de vivre.

Adding insult to injury, I shortened the cooking time (when the meat is tender, why cook longer?) and substituted cheaper cuts of meat, like 99 cents per pound pork or chicken (beef stock and 99 red cent wine provide most of the flavor).

Unfortunately pearl onions do not come cheap (although I have found 99c jars of marinated ones), but I have saved you so much time and money so far, please indulge me with this one $2.49 per pound ingredient?

Slow cooking mushrooms and pearl onions in a red wine and beef stock makes for a complex flavor profile. In these waning days of winter, put on a long braising pot of The Chef's Pork Bourguignon, based on Julia Child's classic recipe, and Bon Appetit!

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 3-4 pounds of country style pork ribs, shoulder or butt, cubed (I've even tried this with chicken. If you have extra overtime money coming in, go for beef roast meat).
  • Bacon - about 3 slices (optional)
  • 10 oz. package of pearl pnions (about 20 onions) - Peel onions. Or two jars of marinated cocktail ones, drained (I have found jars in 99c Only Stores!)
  • 2 5 oz. containers of mushrooms - brown or white button.
  • Aromatics including: one cup each of onion, carrot, celery and bell pepper. Use any or all, roughly chopped.
  • 2 tbsps. garlic - jar or fresh
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste - okay to use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • Dried or fresh herbs including: 1 bay leaf and a pinch of oregano, sage and thyme. Bay leaf is the main one.
  • 1 bottle of 99c red wine (or Two Buck Chuck) - minus what the chef tastes during sauteing!
  • Beef stock - 32 ounces. Or 6 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups of hot water.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - plenty of salt is added with bouillon cubes or beef stock, so you may not need much.

Saute bacon with meat until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove 1/2 the meat to make room for aromatics. Saute aromatics another 5 minutes to soften. 

Add tomato paste (or sauce), herbs, garlic and flour. Cook 5 minutes. Pour in the beef stock (or bouillon dissolved in water) and all the red wine you have left.

Mix well, scraping bottom of pot to loosen and dissolve all the flavorful brown bits. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake covered for 1 1/2 hours.

Peel and saute pearl onions in 2 pats of butter or oil until lightly browned, and now sweetened. Don't turn too much or they will fall apart - set aside. 

Slice mushrooms in half; if they are small throw in a few whole (I like large meaty mushroom bites), and saute in the same pan as the onions, for about 5 minutes until soft. 

Add sauteed onions and mushrooms after an hour and a half of baking Pork Bourguignon, and be careful - everything is hot! Cover and continue cooking for another hour.

After baking for about 2 1/2 hours total, meat should separate easily with a fork. The pearl onions and mushroom will be unbelievably flavorful, infused with red wine and beef stock. Serve with boiled red potatoes or rice to soak up all the rich deep-brown sauce.

And if you like this recipe, be sure to check out video my version of Julia Child's Crepe Suzette -- while donning a wig and pearls! 


Shell said...

Hmmmm, it looks so very good. And it makes me want to watch my copy of J&J. Meryl was so very amazing as Julia!

Ashley said...

I was going to make this recipe... Until I realized I can't yet legally purchase red wine... FML.

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Ashley, how about using cooking wine?

Cindy Dahlgren said...

Billy, I bet this would work in the crock pot, too -- after browning. I think I'll give it a try and let you know. Maybe 3-4 hours on low, add onions, and another 2 hours or so. In between I can go for my workout and have dinner pretty much done when I get home.

Love your recipes and I am a 99 cent only super shopper. Tonight we had cream of broccoli soup, mesclun salad with raspberry vinaigrette and hot baguettes -- ALL from 99 cent only!!!

Cindy from Napa
(where food is no joke)

99 Cent Chef said...

Right on sister! Crock pot cooking is the bomb ;-P

Tracy said...

Hi Chef-
I think this recipe sounds exactly what I'm looking for. The only question is I want to use the pork I cooked for supper tonight.
What would you suggest if I'm using cooked pork?

Thanks and wish me luck!!

Unknown said...

Hi, can you use pork or chicken stock instead of beef? My family does not eat beef, and this recipe sounds amazing to try out.

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Unknown, Any type of stock is fine, go for it ;-p

Unknown said...

I think Julia would be absolutely proud! Recipes like kitchens are made to adapt to what is on hand! Abiding by the rules makes you complacent. Making your own (even NEW) rules makes you Avant-garde!!! Viva La Francaise, Viva La Julia, Viva les persons!

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