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How did it happen? I burned Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My amazing husband bought me the most amazing anniversary present, 2 Le Creuset Cast Iron pots. 1 is the 28cm satin black cast iron pot and the 2nd is the short 30cm cast iron pot also in satin black. He says he justified the expensive purchase because a) i am worth it and b) i have become a good home cook.

 

I thought to christen my gorgeous new pots I would make him Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon. I used the deeper of the 2, the 28 cm Cast iron pot.

 

I bought the best ingredients I could find and followed the recipe to a T.. after 1 hour in the oven the house smelt amazing and just after the 2nd hour i noticed it smelled like something was burning but as the recipe said it takes 3-4 hours I left it in there. I didnt want the steam to escape and ruin the dish. Anyway, now it is burnt.

 

My pot thankfully is soaking in water and some watered down detergent (I was worried about ruining my new pot) and most of the burnt parts are beginning to come off.

 

WHY did it burn? Was the recipe I was following incorrect? Even the oven temperature was so low. Any ideas on what to do next time?

 

Looks like take-out for dinner tonight! :-P

post #2 of 8

You run out of liquid. Or the liquid (wine, stock) was not enough or the oven was too much hot.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #3 of 8

Can you link to or post the recipe? What was the tempo of the oven? I think ordo's most likely correct in one of his guesses. Did you cook one big chuck, or did you cut them into smaller pieces? 

 

I've made many boeuf bourguignons, and 3 to 4 hours is generally too long. 2 1/2 hours should be enough with the kind of beef we get today in the U.S.

 

I also don't make it in the oven, I simmer it very gently on the stovetop. That allows me to open the lid once in a while to check and make sure it's slowly simmering, not just poaching, and not boiling away either. 

 

It's ok to crack the lid open and look. 

post #4 of 8

a recipe is no more than that, a recipe.

aka, a guideline.

and each recipe is written in different environments with diffferent ovens, etc than yours.

also.

its not my experience that julia childs book is faultless. I have made quite a few corrections to some recipes.

 

SO.

follow the recipe, and trust your intuition......use recipe more as a guideline.

check regularly on taste, moisture, temps.

until you find out what works for YOU in YOUR kitchen with YOUR equipment.

that is what makes a good cook, too. 

go, experiment and have fun.

post #5 of 8

I'm just guessing, but a 28 cm (+11inch) pot is... very large. It needs at least 3-4 kg (6-8 lb) of meat, preferably more, for a stew to work well. If you used a much smaller quantity of meat and subsequently also a much smaller quantity of marinade, then you are heading for disaster. If (?) this was the case, you had a limited amount of marinade that is spread over a very large surface. This means a much larger area for an even faster evaporation to occur. It is a fact that your bourguignon simply cooked dry.

 

I'm also very much in the same camp of FF;

Quote:
 ~~I also don't make it in the oven, I simmer it very gently on the stovetop. That allows me to open the lid once in a while to check and make sure it's slowly simmering, not just poaching, and not boiling away either.

I can't add much more than that this method of cooking on the stovetop gives you full control and... it needs less time than in the oven.

You have a constant gentle evaporation when cooking on the stovetop, but it condensates continuously on the cooler lid which will keep the preparation moist.

I never ever cook a stew in the oven.

post #6 of 8

I cook stews in the oven all the time.  There's a few problems here:

 

You did not trust yourself.  You're smarter than a recipe.  When you sense that something is wrong check it.  Unless it's a pressure cooker there is absolutely no need to keep the lid closed at all times, you have to check the food.  That comes with experience and confidence.  Don't let this stop you from trying again.  It's too bad that the food was ruined, but hopefully your pricy pot is ok and you can try again!

 

For me, when I stew something I try to keep the liquid high enough so that at least half of the meat is submerged.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 8

If your interested , here is a video of her making it :

 

http://youtu.be/zA2ys8C-lNk

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the help! I have now bought an oven thermomete to absolutely sure of the temperature!

I live in the Middle East & used New Zealand beef chuck which is of good quality.

I think I made a noob mistake of halving the recipe and not adjusting the cooking temp + was scared to have a peep in case I let the steam out and it would disrupt the cooking..

I'll try again with the smaller pot & use all of your tips + the video!

Thank you all again!!
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