I hope you enjoyed the Châteauneuf du Pape wine review and food pairings. That story has prompted me to delve a little deeper into my love of all things French. I know in Australia it’s warming up now, but I wanted to give you a taste of France that would match perfectly with Châteauneuf du Pape, the dish is Boeuf a la Bourguignonne, better know in Australia as Beef Bourguignon.
But first I have a little personal story about the origins of this recipe for me. So wind the clock back 29 years… wow, yes 29 years. Imagine me as a school girl in my French language classes. I am sixteen years old and a very studious. By this stage in high school I had been taking French language classes for four years and I was smitten. I did most of the cooking at home so the family were treated/subjected to French dishes every second day.
I would start with a Soupe à l’oignon, avec fromage croutons and then serve either Coq au Vin or the king of fresh casseroles being the Beef Bourguignon. Naturally I was very proficient making choux pastry and the meal would end with Profiteroles.
So you might wonder where a girl of sixteen obtains French recipes in the 1980’s. Remembering this is before the age of the internet and google. Do you know, my kids actually find it hard to believe there was ever a time before the “World Wide Web”! Quelle horreur!
Well like I said, I was a very studious girl. The school I attended gave book prizes each year to the high achieving students aka “nerdy me.” By the time I left high school I had amassed a library of cookbooks that would make any chef proud. Happily they were all inscribed, so when I pick up the cookbooks, inside the front cover it tells me the year and the subject the prize was given.
The “Around the World Cookbook” by Marshall Cavendish was one of my favourites. I still use it today as it has so many brilliant recipes from all over the world. Happily it also contains my 5 favourite French recipes with my notes and variations on the dish. It’s kind of nice to look at the perfectly tidy writing of my 16 year old self in the book, especially given that everything I write now is a barely legible scrawl!
Without further ado I give you my Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon recipe with adaptions from my teenaged self.
Oh, and I peeked inside the front cover. This book was award to me by Sawtell RSL for an ANZAC Day writing prize in 1986. It’s signed by LJ Walters the Secretary and ERHo I still remember the article I wrote and it still brings a smile to my face.
I can’t help but hope the internet doesn’t completely replace books. It’s so funny to think that 29 years on and I am still writing, still cooking, and still travelling the world. My daughter Anais has inherited the travel bug and my love of all things French. She is 8 now, when she was 6 she made me promise to take her to France for her 10th birthday. I am so pleased she gave me four year warning.
Naturally I promised her we would be in France for her 10th birthday, the 3rd May 2017. After all, what a gorgeous reason to go back to France.
I hope you enjoy the Beef Bourguignon, stay warm if you are in a country coming into winter. Perhaps pin this one for later if it’s looking sunny in your part of the world at the moment.