March 19, 2010
I need your help! We need more questions for Chef Todd for my Monday kitchen video interview with him…what are your cooking questions you'd like me to ask him? Please leave them in the comment box below this post!
Yesterday, I promised to reveal to you Chef Todd's quicker, simpler version of Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, using his knowledge of basic cooking methods over Julia's recipe.
Here's what he wrote to me:
Thanks for the challenge. It was an eye-opener and should turn out to be a great procedure for you to share with your subscribers.
When I look at the Julia and Julie Beef Bourguignon, I see two simple words – braising method. To update this 40 year old recipe, here’s how I’d apply basic cooking methods and creativity to yield beef bourguignon (total time – one hour, using one pan!):
1) Cooking by basic methods skips the first step of using a calculator to scale the recipe. From standard portions, I know I need 4 ounces of protein per person, so the only measurement I’ll make is 8 ounces of beef to start.
2) Julia Child’s recipe has me using 5 different pans. This adds to clean-up time. To start, I’d use one pan, my covered 12 inch braising pan.
3) The original recipe calls for beurre manie, and uncooked roux, to thicken the gravy after 2 ½ hours of cooking. Roux without the proteins cooked out of the flour will leave a pasty taste in your gravy. The first change I’d make is dredging the dried beef cubes in flour to start. The combination of flour and fat in my braising pan will yield a cooked roux, and eliminate 2 pans.
4) After browning the dredged meat, I’d add all the vegetables I desire. Whether onions, garlic, carrots, celery, or tomatoes, I get to choose what goes into the dish, and the amount of each. This eliminates a lot of back-and-forth to the recipe book, and another dirtied pan.
5) After sautéing the beef and vegetables, now is the time to deglaze the pan with red wine. This will lift any fond and roux from the bottom of the pan. After all the wine has evaporated, you can start to build the gravy by adding some beef broth.
6) Cover the pan and simmer on the stove top, or place in your oven until the flavors combine, the gravy thickens, the meat tenderizes, and vegetables cook.
That’s how I see this recipe as a basic cooking method that can be accomplished with any substitutions of ingredients, and any amount of ingredients you’d like.
Recipes are a great way to get ideas of what to cook, but an understanding of basic cooking methods are ALWAYS necessary to infuse the skilled judgment of the cook. Cooking with your eyes, ears, nose, and fingers always gives you power over the shortcomings of recipes.”
So – thanks to Chef Todd, I think we all have a great classic “recipe”that will impress without the work!
And by the way, if you haven't been to Chef Todd's website “Web Cooking Classes”, I'd certainly recommend you check it out – you can click here to go there. There's nothing like learning to cook, having fun, and being entertained – all at the same time!
Yesterday, I promised to reveal to you Chef Todd's quicker, simpler version of Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon – using his knowledge of basic cooking methods over Julia's recipe.
…by the way, you're going to love video #6 in this series!
Great news – not only has Chef Todd agreed to be on a podcast, but it's going to be a video podcast straight from his kitchen, so he can demonstrate all his tips and tricks, and answer your questions. So if you have a special technique you'd like to see (ok, maybe he's not going to make an entire Julia Childs recipe, but I'll be he sure can impress us), then simply leave your comments and questions below, and I'll ask Chef Todd during the video podcast!