The Crocksman: Julie & Julia & Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon

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beefbphoto.jpg
Beef Bourguignon, ready to cook. Slowly.
Last weekend when I was driving around Kitsap County with my mom, she told me a story about her

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The Crocksman: Julie & Julia & Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon

  • The Crocksman: Julie & Julia & Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon

  • ">

    beefbphoto.jpg
    Beef Bourguignon, ready to cook. Slowly.
    Last weekend when I was driving around Kitsap County with my mom, she told me a story about her job at a local elementary school before I had a chance to tell her about my column, The Crocksman.

    The other day she was saying goodbye to a class, and said something to the effect of, "I've gotta run home and make dinner for my husband!"

    "WHAT!?!?!?" the class exclaimed. Turns out she was talking to an entire class that comes from households in which the dad cooks dinner. "My daddy uses the crock pot!" one student burst out.

    In January, my wife and I relocated from West Bremerton to First Hill. And in the process, we swapped commutes. Whereas I used to get home 90 minutes after I left work to find a kitchen humming with the sounds and smells of dinner, today I'm more often the one left holding the bag. And like those dudes in South Kitsap, I find comfort in a crock pot.

    It's been two months, and already it's clear that rotating between slow-cooked pork (see last week's column) and barbecue pork at Kau Kau isn't going to cut it. My wife need a little bit a of variety, and for the first time, I've got to start looking beyond my go-to crocking. That's were my new iPhone app, Crock-Pot, comes in.

    I'm only scratching the surface. In fact, we only discovered it on Sunday when we pulled up to Costco without a new recipe to shop for. The highest rated recipe at the top of the list is Beef Bourguignon. This caught my wife's eye for the same reason I'll assume it sounds familiar to the rest of the Nora Ephron fans in the house: It's a dish Julie messed up during the part of Julie & Julia that I was awake for.

    This dish, which includes cubes of rump roast and six strips of bacon, features at least 10 more ingredients than any crock pot recipe I've ever tried. Crock pots are supposed to transform a few simple ingredients into works of art, no? So, what do I need a bay leaf for?

    To make matters more difficult, I didn't exactly prepare well. I should have peeled and chopped the carrot on Sunday. I should have dealt with those little mini-white onions that go down in one bite. I could have at least chopped up the 3.5 pounds of rump roast. And in the name of all things holy, I could have cleaned the crock pot (this is another story entirely). But I didn't.

    So, there we were at 6:30 a.m., looking at a long list of ingredients, a dirty crock pot, and a large roast. I took a shower. I know, I know. While I was scrubbing up, I could hear the bacon sizzling and a few onions getting chopped. I got into the kitchen and put my hands to work, cubing up the beef and assisting in the browning. All in all, it took more than an hour to get the crock pot full. This is 50 minutes longer than I've ever spent on a crock pot. And as I left the door Monday morning, I thought: "This had better be good."

    Ten hours later, it was. Everything I've ever pulled out of a crock pot obviously came from a crock pot, but this batch of Beef Bourguignon would have had me fooled. It's now crystal clear that keeping things fresh in the kitchen's gonna mean a few extra minutes of prep time. And if the results are half as good as this Beef Bourguignon, it'll be worth the sleepy mornings.

    Check out the entire recipe for Beef Bourguignon over at Crock-Pot.com.

     
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