Julia Child and producers, circa 1963

Julia and producers, circa 1963

Today I’ve been making Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon for a Julie and Julia party tonight. I’m not sure how I got volunteered for this esteemed role (after all, it’s the dish that Julie flops in the movie), but I’m giving it my all.

Well, nearly my all.

Julia Child wrote the cookbook I’m using, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to make French cooking more palatable for the American masses. So what amazes me are all the shortcuts I’m already taking.

No bacon rind.

I didn’t cut the bacon into lardons (sticks 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). I browned it and tore it into little bits. And some big bits, too.

I forgot to simmer the rind (which I didn’t have) and the bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. But if I’d have remembered it, I would have decided against it. All that stuff is going to get wet pretty fast anyway.

I didn’t mash the garlic. I used minced garlic from a Costco jar.

Anyway, my point is this: when I write MY cookbook for the masses, it’ll be called That’s Just Not Going to Happen. It’ll be for all the people who don’t sift, mince, mash, and other stuff that’s called for. They just don’t think it matters.

But does it?

You’ll have to read the book … a rewrite of Julia’s rewrite of the Larousse Gastronomique. I don’t think I want to spend the next eight years on it, but you never know.

Oh, the dish was a hit. I don’t think anyone missed the bacon rind, the mashed garlic, or the lardons.

That’s just not going to happen

by susan time to read: 1 min

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