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Beef Bourguignon for a crowd

Hi, I'm starting to realize I need advice about my party next weekend that will have 20 guests and a French theme. I'm planning to make beef Bourguignon and I'm wondering a couple of things.
I'm planning to use Julia Child's recipe (which I have made in the past), but the Cook's Illustrated one appealed as well: less classical obviously but possibly more reliable given that I don't have time for test run and I need to scale it up quite a bit. Either way I'll make the stew part a couple days ahead and make and keep the mushroom/pearl onion garnish separate til the end.
In terms of making enough for 20, how much should I make? I'll be serving with potatoes, green salad and a fennel/orange salad. Some appetizers before and a cheese plate after (or before if appetites dictate). Chocolate mousse for dessert unless something else occurs to me in the meantime. Guests will be hungry as there is a sports activity beforehand.
Also...one guest is gluten free. Should I try to use a gluten free blend and/or thicken the sauce with the pureed veg? Or should I say go with flour and make that guest something else? Don't want to ruin a massive batch...
Thanks for any thoughts!

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  1. Just commenting on the gluten free aspect- I feel like you've got enough to fill up on without making something separate for that person. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

    1. I don't eat grains so I just skip the flouring step all together. To thicken the sauce I reduce it and then blend some of the veggies. It works great.

      In addition to being a great make ahead dish it also freezes and reheats really well so if you end up making too much you'll have a nice stash of winter dinners.
      :)

      1. Maybe skip the flour and thicken with cornstarch? Not optimal but it would be a shame for a guest to miss out on the star of the show if its avoidable .

        Or skip flouring the meat, when you are ready to thicken the sauce with a slurry, remove a portion and use cornstarch or potato starch and flour slurry for the rest.

        1. You should count on 4-6 oz of meat per person depending on your Guests. You will probably have some leftovers (shouldn't be too much of a burden).
          As far as your Gluten Free Guest just pullout a portion just before you add your Beurre manié. Nothing gives that velvety mouth feel and enrichment like Beurre manié does. You can Beurre Monté the GF portion if you like.

          1. Just curious, is the guest that is gluten free, gluten intolerant or does he/she have a gluten allergy? If the guest doesn't have an intolerance or allergy, then I would not cater to them. They can deal with it.

            I can't stand fads like "gluten free" and they always make me feel bad for people with the real problem, because it discredits their needs.

            1 Reply
            1. re: skier

              Why? As long as they're not claiming to have a gluten allergy, how does it hurt anyone? My husband avoids gluten but never says he's allergic in order to ensure gluten free food. As for "catering" to someone, well, I'd try to cater to a friend. I like my friends and want them to enjoy themselves.