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.