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Dec 22, 2013 09:57 PM

Julia Child's Classic Boeuf Bourguignon

I would love to make Julia Child's most classic recipe, boeuf bourguignon, but alas the first ingredient in the recipe is a 6 oz. chunk of bacon. All of the other ingredients are fine...the mushrooms which should be sautéed in butter, I'm sure would be just fine in margarine or olive oil. But the bacon!!! Has anyone made Julia's recipe? Does omitting the bacon detract from the recipe so much that it's unworkable?? Would you substitute something else?? Help!

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  1. somebody here was just talking about making it with beef bacon.

    But yes, bacon is an integral part of the flavor profile.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      actually the thread was about Julia Child's Coq Au Vin and Adina was using the beef bacon to make lardons for topping the accompanying salad.

      I haven't made Julia's Boeuf B. recipe, but have made other versions. I use a small chunk of second cut brisket that has been hickory smoked in place of the salt pork or bacon.

    2. I did just follow Julia Child's Coq Au Vin recipe using the "Beef Bacon Chunks" from Grow and Behold, which i cut into lardons. It worked beautifully.

      (Also used their thin-cut as topping on a green salad, they were good but not as good as lamb bacon. Beef doesn't seem to achieve that level of crunch.)

      But to add the deep smokiness to a braised dish, the beef bacon worked perfectly.

      1. For the sauteed mushrooms, I do not think that margarine or olive oil are adequate. I save both chicken and duck fat in my freezer, and use them to substitute for butter in French (and some other) dishes. It behaves much more like butter.

        It's not that I'm not an olive oil devotee, it's just that Fernand Braudel was right; there's a line that runs across the middle of France marking the great divide between the worlds of olive oil and of butter. To achieve the classic dishes of either region you must use the classic fat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AdinaA

          Agreed--schmaltz would be the way to go.

        2. The flavor profile of pork bacon, as far as smokiness is concerned ,varies widely depending on the brand. How smoky Julias' bacon was is a mystery. I like a very smoky profile myself.
          That said perhaps using some "liquid smoke" might up the flavor if a suitable kosher bacon isn' available. Just a drop at a is strong..

          And remember, Julia always said that Beef Bourguignon is just a embellished is the method she was teaching... be daring!!!!

          1. As an FYI, Smitten Kitchen has a mushroom-based version which is parve and very hearty for a cold winter night.