Homey Homage to Julia
Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
One of my mother’s best special occasion dishes was Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe and all these years later, when the weather turns chilly I still crave it. Now, our winters in Florida aren’t brutal by any means, but once the sun sets, a pot of aromatic beef stew is hard to beat, no matter the climate.
This week I recommend you use a young, dry red wine to cook with and then drink alongside your creation. Julia Child’s beloved recipe can easily be found online as can dozens of knockoff versions. I can personally vouch for Ina Garten’s and Rachael Ray’s versions, but all include braising beef, bacon, mushrooms and onions to produce a silky, rich stew – perfect for simmering all day long. All are fragrant, decadent and herbaceous. Traditionally a Burgundy wine is used, but a domestic Pinot Noir or even a Beaujolais work well and can be fabulous alternatives. A few suggestions are listed below.
Burgundy wines are not known for being inexpensive, so look for the Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune. This is a Pinot Noir which is made in Burgundy, France and at right around $25 it has several very nice vintages. Pinot Noirs are notoriously food-friendly and this selection will produce a beautiful result. You will enjoy it both in this dish and while sipping it.
A Beaujolais is another great choice. At around $20 a bottle, the Dominique Piron, Beaujolais Villages, 2013 is a blend with a light red hue and fresh berry flavors. Beaujolais wines are becoming more and more like traditional red Burgundy wines even though their grapes are grown partially in the Rhone region.
If you want to splurge a bit and get an actual Burgundy wine, the 2010 Domaine Faiveley, Mercurey Rouge ‘La Framboisiere’ is a special bottle indeed. This delicate wine has hints of berry and spice and will elevate your home-cooked meal to a new level and leave you and your guests wowed.