I’m not sure why– does anyone know why they hate perfectly reasonably foods– but I never could abide it. In our family, we always got to pick our favourite meal on our birthdays and my brother Tom always, always, ALWAYS picked stew. So I could count on being forced to eat it one day a year. Yuck.
In recent years, when my cooking became better and we became more adventurous, my husband (who also loves beef stew) encouraged me to try it again. I tried all sorts of variations, but the one that most sticks with me is the time I made the Julia Child version from her classic tome, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (a cookbook I highly recommend, by the way). I thought surely I would like that one. I sourced the best beef from our local butcher. I lovingly slaved over the dish for an entire afternoon. It even smelled good. But when I sat down and took my first bite, I thought, “Nope. Yuck.”
But to make a long story short, this beef stew, sorry Featherblade Bourguignon, was DELICIOUS. I did not sit down and think, “Nope. Yuck.” I thought, “Yes. Yum.”
It was, by a million miles, the best stew, sorry “Featherblade Bourguignoun” that I’ve ever had. I even reheated some the next day for my lunch. And I’m already planning on making it again for Sunday dinner. And again for when my parents happen to be here for Tom’s birthday, because even though he won’t be here (he’ll be home in North Carolina), I think it would make them happy to have beef stew, sorry “Beef Bourguignoun”, on that particular day since they had it on day so many times before.
That, my friends, is a successful recipe.
I’m really not sure why this one succeeded where so many before it had failed. But succeed it did.