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Foodies: I have a question about onions.

(11 Posts)
Slubberdegullion Fri 30-Oct-09 17:34:31

I am making Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon tonight and in the recipe she does this thing where you fry and stick in an onion at the start (pre the 4 hours of slow cooking) and then at the end you have to cook up a load more shallots (or small onions) and stick them in.

Why is that?

Is it just to make the dish more oniony, or does something happen to onion no1 during the slow cooking that means you need the added oomph of onions no 2 at the end?

Just wondering really. I've never had to do such a thing before.

notsoteenagemum Fri 30-Oct-09 17:46:58

I would have thought the initial onion is just to flavour the gravy and would disintegrate and the shallots is for eatin'.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 30-Oct-09 17:50:12

Initial onions will 'melt' into the stew, whereas the little ones will have more texture - and by putting little ones in will also have more visual distinction/appeal.

I would think ... !

Slubberdegullion Fri 30-Oct-09 17:56:50

ahh, I get it.

Thank you ladies smile

AnyDisembodiedHomeMcFly Fri 30-Oct-09 17:57:39

Also shallots have a bit of a different flavour to the bigger onions and more bite. Sounds a v nice recipe

Slubberdegullion Fri 30-Oct-09 18:02:38

It's the best McFly.

I saw the movie Julie and Julia a month or so back (mostly about Julia Child who I now have a significant crush on, despite her being dead) and her bourguignon was cooked several times during the film.

I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'll never do another bourguignon again.

bourguignon it a total pita to type btw

moondog Fri 30-Oct-09 18:05:15

Yes, Julia Child was ace (check her out on Youtube, what a dude!). I was very hmm about fake french accents in film though.

Slubberdegullion Fri 30-Oct-09 18:09:33

oh I know moony, but I just let them wash over me as I though Meryl (as Julia) was so marvellous. Such a feel good movie.

flyingcloud Mon 02-Nov-09 10:39:15

I totally fell in love with her watching the film, found the Julie person a PITA though, I could have just watched Merly Streep/Julia Childs wafting around Paris talking about food for hours on end.

I am going to try this as I cooked BB last week (I do it about four times a year) and despite using the most succulent cuts of meat from the butcher (French butcher who supplied beef just for the recipe) the meat turned out really tough. Was very disappointed.

JetLi Mon 02-Nov-09 12:16:10

I have consulted the great tome on French food that is Larousse Gastronomique.
"A la bourguignonne is the name or several preparations cooked in red wine, the most famous of which is boeuf bourguignon. They are usually garnished with small onions, button mushrooms and pieces of fat bacon."
So the second lot of onion in Julia Child's recipe is classed as the garnish. smile
TBH when I make mine, I just bung all the lot in together - no adding of fried onions at the end.
I like Mike Robinson's recipe and have lately done Delia's cheat method whereby you don't pre-fry anything - just bung all the lot, cold, in a pot, ignore that fact that it looks like dog vomit and then sling it in the oven. Works very well actually and means less washing up. I use shin of beef mostly and top rump if I'm feeling flush or am cooking for visitors.

Slubberdegullion Mon 02-Nov-09 12:24:42

flyingcloud, I completely agree, I could have done without the Julie part as well. Just the story of Julia Child would have been enough. I loved the scene with her cutting up the mountain of onions, what a top bird. You should try Julia's BB. It is fiddly, but well worth it. Don't forget to dry your meat before you brown it grin

Jet - yes, absolutely. tbh I'm struggling to find shallots that are small enough, the sainsbury's ones are more like giant pointy onions and just look a bit mad served on the side, so I have been chopping them up and hence getting the virtually melted onion bits and then the shallot bits. I'm going to have to hunt for the smaller ones i think.

I'll never do another BB again though. This is utterly heavenly, the very same reaction to it as in the film.

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