It took longer to make this Boeuf Bourguignon than the “cold front” that I made it for — lasted. Here’s the story — about two weeks ago, South Florida geared up for its first cold-front of the season! This is a big deal for us. The weather man hypes the chilly temperatures for days leading up to the actually event. People dig out their sweaters and jackets, ladies unpack there stylin’ boots and everyone — but everyone — wants a big pot of something warm on the stove. It’s like the whole community is trying to capture that apple-picking, hot-cider-sipping, hay-ride-esque fall nostalgia that completely eludes us 360 days a year.
The “cold front” I’m referring to, was a brief 24 hours where the thermometer remained below 80° during the day and dipped to the upper 60’s at night. And South Floridians were positively giddy at the prospect. Myself included. Which is why as the front approached, I was already planning my home-y comfort meal.
When I woke up that Sunday morning, it was a crisp 68°. I opened every window in the house (the first time we’d aired it out since April) and put on a pair of jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt. While Scott was busy appraising his fantasy football rosters, I was searing beef and taking pictures.
As we got closer to noon, the temperature started to creep up. It was in the low 70’s. Still not bad — because we generally have the A/C set to 77°. I changed into a short-sleeved shirt and kept working — putting the finishing touches on the braise and loving the way the house was both cool from the breeze, and warm from the delicious smells in the kitchen.
But by the time the pot actually went into the oven and I was getting out a second pot to braise the onions and saute the mushrooms, the A/C actually kicked on by itself. I knew it was going to happen, but I was still annoyed when it did.
Not even one full day of fall before we were swept back into the sticky reality of South Florida.
But I had come this far on my Boeuf Bourguignon, so I continued my assembly — I was using Julia Child’s recipe here — which required cooking the mushrooms and onions separately from the actual bourguignon and straining the vegetables from the sauce before finally assembling the whole deal. Let me tell you, it was quite a production.
Scott opened a good bottle of wine and after one bite, we both agreed that the effort was worth it. Well — of course, he agreed. He sat on the couch and watched football while I cooked. That said, the bourguignon was rich and meaty, with big chunks of mushrooms and tender braised pearl onions. And that sauce. We couldn’t get enough of that sauce. So what if we had to turn down the A/C a few degrees to enjoy it? Wow!