Originally Posted by Chopstix
I tasted Beef Bourguingon for the first and only time many years ago at the Bellagio buffet in Las Vegas. I wasn't too impressed with the dish. That's why even after I seriously got into cooking these last 6-7 years, I've never felt tempted to make this stew.
But after watching Julie & Julia, I made it for the first time last week. I used Julia's recipe from her excellent book The Way to Cook. I used beef shank. I followed her recipe to the letter because I wanted the authentic taste so as to understand the big deal with Beef Bourguingon.
I'm sorry to say that I still wasn't impressed. The taste was very similar to what I had tasted in Las Vegas that first time. The meat was indeed meltingly tender and the sauce was certainly rich enough. But the flavor was very basic, very beefy, with the added depth of the red wine reduction. I guess I keep expecting a more unique, complex flavor which in my mind would warrant the attention given to this dish.
I love this quote because it says a lot about food in general, and the way people look at it. The fact you spent time to replicate the dish, and see if it was the cook and not the menu... but were still objective enough to give it a fair shake... I don't know why I am sending a reply other than to say that this is the difference between a cook and a consumer - A consumer would have just written off the dish forever; A cook will try two different versions, make it them selves, and then make a judgement. You are indeed a good cook. Thanks for the post!