Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Experience with Julia Child's Beef Wellington....

December 22, 2009....

This past summer, I read the Julie & Julia book and wondered if I had Julia Child's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in my collection. Surprised to say, I didn't.

Borders had an amazing sale on the book so I snatched it up. I made plans with a friend to have her over for dinner before going to see the Julie/Julia Project. I made Julia's famous Beef Bourguignon and a chocolate mousse. Both came out wonderfully, but the time involved was insane.

Fast forward 4 months and as I decided to make Beef Wellington, I searched my cookbooks only to discover Julia's MtAoFC was the only one with the recipe. I think I had forgotten how freakin insane this woman was.

What I mean to say, is that she really had A LOT of time on her hands. This recipe had 3 recipes embedded within it (note - one of the recipes referenced also had you off to refer to another recipe).

Other than not making brioche and using puff pastry, the wellington and the sauce accompanying it (which took 2 hours of simmer time) was wonderful. However, Julia Child was right in her notes about puff pastry, it just didn't work for me (although, I think has more to do with just wanting to finish putting the roast together and having very little counter top space to roll out the pastry dough).

As much as I question her ingredients and think some steps are a bit insane, I know if you follow her directions (which you have to read several times to ensure you've incorporated all the recipes into one) and set aside a boat load of time, you will have yummy food.

I was happy to have had leftovers because there is no way I really wanted to cook the next day or last weekend.

For Christmas Day, I will be serving Julia's Beef Bourguignon along with chicken parmesan and Martha Stewart's Mac & Cheese (YogaGirl is bringing) as main courses. However, I know to make the Beef Bourguignon 2 days prior because the clean up is a bitch.


kk said...

After watching that movie – which I loved – and hearing your tale here...it's no wonder that girl needed to quit her job in order to have time to make a recipe a day. I can't believe how involved the recipes are!

My friend with whom I saw the movie wants to make Julia's boeuf bourginon for us...let me know how it turns out!

The Peach Tart said...

I'm planning on watching the movie over the holiday and I can't wait. I do have the cookbook and have done the boeuf bourginon and it is wonderful. I'm having Beef Wellington for my Christmas dinner but not from that cookbook. I'm doing a much easier but delicious recipe. Enjoy your holiday and your food. Hugs.

jane said...

haha! loved the book, but wasn´t too crazy about the film... maybe it´s because i saw it spanish... happy holidays! your menu sounds delicious!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Thanks for posting about it. I was dying to know how it turned out.
I think we're having a Stouffer's lasagna. I'm going all out this year! LOL!!
I want to hear about the Beef Bourguignon along with chicken parmesan! Now I want those and some Mac and Cheese for breakfast!
Hope your Christmas is a Merry one!


Badass Geek said...

It all seems so involved to me... My tastes are much more simple... and picky.

Herding Cats said...

I'm glad it turned out well! I loved that book (and movie) and as a want-a-be cook, I always enjoy hearing other bloggers' cooking stories.

Brian Miller said...

you really dont want to see me in the kitchen. i'll stick to the grill, i know how to do that. smiles.

DSS said...

My mother was always a HUGE Julia fan. She would watch her show and attempt to replicate recipe after recipe. My mother didn't work. Neither did the recipes :(

I think it takes a very patient person to follow all of those steps, and to put that much love into cooking food.

Cheers to you for figuring out how to make a tasty meal, but to allow yourself the time still to enjoy it..with family and friends :)

Children of the 90s said...

It sounds so good--that movie was like food porn, I left wanting to cook up a storm. I would love to try making the beef bourginon, it sounds great!

Melanie's Randomness said...

Omg that movie makes me soo hungry for the stuff they make. I like that your making Beef Wellington. I just read Julie's book, I can't imagine all the time it takes to make some of this stuff!! Good for you girl. =)

La La La Leah said...

2 things: I want to see that movie and I will someday since it's in our Netflix queue.

1: you can find awesome recipes on allrecipes.com I dare say they may be easier.... OR you can stop by my new dinner blog... haha

Happy Holidays ME

Captain Dumbass said...

Christmas Day? Do you have room for another plate? If not I can stand or sit at the kiddie table.

Sunshine Mama said...

I began to learn to love to cook after I had my now -seven-year-old- I didn't mind making a little time to make the food.

Now, three children later, I try to make things that have five ingredients or less. I just don't have the time or emotional energy.

In saying all that, I think it's wonderful that you are trying such unique and tasty dishes. I think cooking is like a form of art. You are creating something, which is probably one of the reasons you like it.

You should take a picture of this dish. It sounds wonderful.

Hope you're having a great week!

That corgi :) said...

what time is dinner on Christmas? Koda and me want to make sure we aren't late :)

sounds like a wonderful menu; I know it will be enjoyed by all!

I don't think I could ever cook like Julia Childs, even though she was a great cook. If a recipe has more than 4 steps and 5 ingredients, I'm just lost. Thankfully hubby enjoys cooking though.....hmmmmm. gave me an idea :)

enjoy cooking and your Christmas!


Kristin said...

I got the movie and Julia's book for Christmas. Can't wait to bust into those recipes. Thanks for the forewarning! I'll have to attempt them on the weekend. : )

Mahmudul Hasan said...

thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Beef wellington recipe