Lies! Damned Lies!

Voice Card  -  Volume 24  -  Paul Card Number 7  -  Wed, Apr 8, 1992 9:43 PM

This is a response to VC 23 John 15 ("Bachelor Cooking")...

I don't know which part of your premise ticks me off more:

  • The "bachelor" part
  • The "cooking" part
Folks, don't fall for this crap.

Still, in respect for Roger's original note, I hereby submit Jim Beard's


  • 2-1/2 c brown sauce
  • 1-1/2 c red wine, preferably Burgandy or Pinot Noir
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1 slice lemon
  • A small piece of orange rind
  • 14 T unsalted butter
  • 12-18 small white onions, peeled
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1/4 c chicken broth
  • 12-18 firm white mushroom caps
  • 4 thick slices salt pork, cut into small dice
  • 2-1/2 pounds beef fillet, cut in 1-1/4 inch cubes
Have your brown sauce in one pan. In another pan, bring the wine, bay leaf, thyme, 1 t salt, 1 t pepper, lemon slice, and orange rind to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to 1 c. Strain this into the brown sauce, bring to a boil, and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes. This is your sauce bourguignon. Taste, and correct the seasoning, then cover surface of sauce with buttered wax paper and set aside until ready to complete the dish.

While the sauce simmers, heat 4 T butter in a skillet, add the onions and saute over medium-high heat, sprinkling with the sugar so they glaze and brown. Add the broth, cover, and steam until just crisply tender. In another skillet, melt 3 T butter, add the mushrooms, and saute over medium-high heat until lightly colored. Remove mushrooms, add 2 T butter to the skillet, and saute the salt pork until crisply browned. Remove, drain, combine with onions and mushrooms, and set aside, covered with foil.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, heat 5 T butter in a heavy saute pan. Add the beef cubes, a few at a time, and saute over high heat until well seared and browned on all sides. Add brown sauce, let it just come to a boil, add the onions, mushrooms, and salt pork, and simmer until just heated through - not long enough to overcook the beef. This has to be a very fast operation. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


  • 1 slice ham, cut 1/2 inch thick and diced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 c red wine
  • Beurre manie
Saute the ham, onion, and carrot in the butter until the onion is brown. Slowly mix in the beef stock. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Simmer gently for 1 hour, uncovered, then add the tomato, salt and pepper to taste, and the wine. Simmer for a further 1/2 hour, then strain through a sieve. If the sauce does not seem thick enough, boil down to the required consistency or thicken with beurre manie.


  • 2-3 pounds bones (beef, beef marrow, veal)
  • all-purpose flour
  • 5-pound piece shin of beef
  • 1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 carrot, scraped
  • 1 leek, well washed and trimmed
  • 1 white turnip, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 T salt
Dust the bones with flour and place on a broiling rack. Place under a broiler or in a 500 degree oven, turning once, until nicely browned. Put the bones and remaining ingredients in a stock pot with water to cover. Bring the water to boil over high heat and boil for 5 minutes, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat until water just simmers; cover the pot and cook for 3 hours.

The meat from the shin bone can be used as you would boiled beef; test after 2 to 2-1/2 hours and fish out when tender. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the broth into a large bowl through a sieve lined with several thicknesses of cheesecloth, and chill overnight. The next day, remove the layers of fat from the top; put the broth in a large pot, uncovered, and simmer very slowly for 3 to 4 hours to concentrate and reduce the stock. Strain again; refrigerate or freeze.


Beurre manie is a mixture of butter and flour that may be used to thicken sauces and stews at the end of the cooking time. As in the case of a roux, 2 T flour will thicken 1 c liquid.

Blend soft unsalted butter and all-purpose flour together with your fingertips in the proportions of 2 T flour to 1 T butter. Then roll into tiny balls about the size of a green pea.

To thicken liquid, turn heat to low under the pan and sprinkle beurre manie balls, a few at a time, over the surface, stirring them in vigorously with a wooden spatula to avoid lumping. The liquid must not be too hot, certainly not boiling. Add only as many balls as needed to thicken the sauce - underestimate, as you can always add more. Continue to stir and cook until the liquid thickens and becomes smooth. If it should lump, rub it through a fine strainer.