Julia’s Beef Bourguignon (Pressure cooker method)

Stew? Or is it a casserole? How about trying it with the pressure cooker?

Apparently a stew goes on the stove top and a casserole, which is also the name of the type of pot, goes in the oven. Either way, they taste amazing no matter what cuisine it is, because the meats get SO soft, tender and juicy, and absorbs up all the wondering flavours. They are perfect for cuts of meat that are least tender such as the shank, chuck, rump and brisket.

Due to COVID-19, like everyone else, we have a lot more home time, and hence, cooking A LOT and we realised that we actually lack a lot of cooking equipment. We have been cooking so primitively! We have been online shopping (Amazon) a lot during this period, so we finally decided to get a pressure cooker, and it’s ABOUT TIME! Our poor gas stove… has suffered long enough. Anyway, first recipe we decided to try with the pressure cooker is Julia Child’s delicious Beef Bourguignon (every time we have to spell this word, we have to google it and copy paste…).

Trim the brisket and cut them into chunks

Have you seen the movie ‘Julie & Julia‘ by Amy Adams and Meryl Streep? We learnt about this dish since the movie, tasted variations of it, but never had the opportunity to cook it. This dish is traditionally made in a casserole with the oven, however, we sadly do not own a casserole (yet). Thankfully, with our newly bought Philips pressure cooker, we can finally give this recipe a shot, and WOW, amazing! Funny story however, on our first try, we released it too soon, and oh boy, what a scene. It was about a minute long of us helplessly watching the brown juice shooting at a ridiculous high speed, up high in the air and splattering EVERYWHERE. The walls. The windows. And blinds and oh dear, the ceiling! We were so traumatised by the incident that since then, whenever we release the vent, we would first take it out to our backyard. Looking on the bright side however, despite the horrifying scene, the aromatic wine-fused-with-beef-scent was just unbelievably good! And believe us when we say this, the taste is even better!

Preparation for this dish does take some time. There’s a lot of washing, peeling and chopping before everything is in the pot, but definitely worthwhile at the end.

Chopping le carottes
Finely chopping le persil

Especially given it’s COVID period, we have been washing our meat. Make sure to pat dry and chop them up in chunks. You can choose any meat cut that is usually for slow cooking or stewing. For us, we love the brisket, so we stuck with it.

For bacon, we are trying to be healthier, so we use the shortcut bacon that has less fat. We like carrots so we add more. For onions, it took us awhile before we stumbled upon these small round white onions at a market. Initially we were using shallots, which were still good. Make sure to use fresh herbs instead of dried ones, they give a much better result. Remember to set aside some chopped up parsley for serving, not so much for garnish purposes, but that its freshness goes really well with the cooked brisket.

All prepared!

If you don’t want your carrots and onions to be too soft, we would suggest setting the timer for 15 minutes first, take out only the vegetables , and then set the timer for another 45 minutes for the brisket to become super tender. We don’t mind our vegetables softer and like to save some time from the natural releasing of the pressure cooker, so we leave them in for the entire hour. Mushrooms, however, like the original Julia Child’s recipe, we cook them separately, and near the end, we add them in prior to drizzling the reduced sauce.

With mash potatoes, unless there are guests, we would purposely make them in smaller batches so we that we eat less of it, and if need be, we will make new fresh batches on other days for the leftover brisket. Besides potatoes, the dish can be served with bread or even pasta, or honestly, just by itself, which we have tried many times, is still really amazing.!

Just after the pressure cooking . Note: photo taken outside...

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