The mice will eat beef.
I saw a recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon in the local paper a couple of weeks ago. The article claimed that it tasted just like the Boeuf Bourguignon served at a former restaurant in Salt Lake called “Le Parisien”. The restaurant, owned by Max Mercier, was an icon in Salt Lake from 1970 until 2001. It was one of the first (and few) French restaurants in Utah, and really brought French cuisine to the average Joe. The food was not only incredibly good, it was very reasonably priced. They served fabulous Italian food as well, for those who weren’t quite sure about that weird French stuff. Like many people in Utah, this was the restaurant where I first had escargot. Since it was so close to my office, I went there frequently for lunch. I actually cried when it closed. I don’t remember the details, but I think it was an issue with the property. The lot it once stood on is now a bank drive-through. “They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot” always springs to mind when I drive by the former location.
When I saw this recipe, it brought back a lot of memories. Knowing that the Pontiff would be gone this weekend, I decided I’d use the opportunity to make it.
Does it taste just like Max’s? Well, to be honest, it’s been so long since I had it at Le Parisien, I can’t really say for sure. But it’s definitely yummy. I was originally planning to share some with my neighbor, but I decided to keep it all for myself, greedy thing that I am.
But let me tell you – it’s a real labor of love. I’m glad I made it, but it took two days, a sinkload of pots, pans and bowls, and hours of work. And it’s not exactly a bargain meal, either. Would I make it again? To be honest, probably not. At least, not unless I planned to have a very special dinner party for fellow mourners of Le Parisien. After all, my husband can’t eat it, and I wouldn’t bother making it again just for myself. I like to cook, but I’m lazy. I don’t relish spending hours of my time cooking, if I can get similar results with far less time and effort. If I can get a good meal done in less than an hour, I’m happy. (More time for knitting.)
On the other hand, I know some people who love the actual preparation, and enjoy making things that take hours to create. This is right up their alley.
This recipe was really fussy – marinate the beef with a bunch of vegetables, then pick out the beef and brown it. Then put the beef back with the veggies and marinade and cook it all together. Then pick out all of the beef, strain the veggies out of the broth, boil the broth, then mix the broth and beef together. Meanwhile, boil bacon in water and then fry it in a pan. Mix with the beef. Then saute mushrooms in a pan. Mix with the beef. The whole time I was making it, I was laughing, since all I could think of was the “Kramp Easy Lube Fourth of July Heritage Loaf” segment from “The Groove Tube“. Yes, I’m that old. And I know this isn’t quite as funny as it was in 1975, but it pretty much sums up how I felt while making this recipe.