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Today, August 15, 2012, would be Julia Child‘s 100th birthday. Julia is a bit of a hero to me. She taught Americans to cook and paved the way for all celebrity chefs. But Julia is inspirational to me for other, more personal, reasons.
Julia Child started her career as an advertising copywriter in New York City. During World War II she joined the US government’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS) where she met her future husband Paul Child (a New Jersey native). It was not until Julia was in her late 30′s that she began to pursue the creative career that would launch her to stardom. Her first, and most famous, cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published when Julia was 49. Julia began her storied TV career in 1963 when she was already in her 50s.
Having spent many years in the business world pursuing a career in line with my education, I have now taken a different tack. Stepping back from the corporate world, for at least a while, has afforded me the wonderful opportunity to be home with my kids. This change has given me the chance to embrace and develop in myself a creativity that I only suspected existed. Gardening, cooking and food and nature photography have opened up a new world for me. While I have no plans to become a TV chef, learning about Julia and how she was able to completely change her career and forge success in a creative field at a more advanced age gives me hope and inspiration! Who knows where it may lead.
A couple of weeks ago I took on the challenge of making Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe exactly as written. It was not an endeavor I was planning to blog about so I did not take photos of the process. I did, however, take a couple of shots of the finished product. It serves as proof of having managed to successfully recreate this more challenging of recipes. A badge of honor! The resulting dish was exquisite beyond compare. Truly.
The version I present to you below is only slightly adapted. It is already essentially a paleo recipe. I left out the flour to make it gluten-free and cut out a couple of steps related to cooking the flour. I also changed the quantity and type of bacon to make things easier (and because I like bacon!) Obviously the flour would have thickened the sauce but we did not particularly find this to be an issue. The resulting dish is extremely rich and flavorful. It is a great dish to make and then refrigerate to have a following day. The flavors only get better with time. Mmmm.
This recipe is adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961)Pin It