French Fridays with Dorie – Boeuf Printanier

This is the recipe I was MOST excited about for the month of April, which if you’re just tuning in was filled with sardines and coconut and asparagus (two of which I surprisingly really enjoyed). I actually really love lamb. REALLY love it! I always feel a little guilty when I eat it, but it’s not enough to make me stop that’s for sure. My dad gave me a leg of lamb for Christmas which I foolishly wasted a few months ago before I joined the illustrious ranks of FFWD. Silly girl. So when faced with buying 3 lbs of lamb myself, I just couldn’t do it. Flippin’ $40 for just one ingredient for this stew. Sorry Charlie, not gonna happen. So I went the cheapy McCheapster route and used beef. I mean I went to the meat market and everything and had them cut up a roast for me so I feel like I got the nicest cheapy beef I could but yeah, I’m kinda hanging my head.

So things start out in one of the most promising ways a kitchen venture can – getting browned in a Dutch oven. I don’t know that I’ve ever made anything that wasn’t delicious in it. Seriously.

The main characters of this dish are all hanging together for your viewing pleasure. I felt like I wanted to give the Baraboo Meat Market props for the nice job they did with this beef but a pile of raw meat is not all that photo-friendly. I think the bag of cutie little mini onions in the back helps though. So after getting a nice brown crust on the meat, you throw it back into the pan with some flour and salt and pepper and bam! That’s a lot of meat right there!

After the addition of some broth and other things comes the long simmer and the “play with the veggies” time. I have never bought these little miniature boiler onions before, but I really liked them, if only for appearance –  I didn’t think they tasted any different really. I made a few changes in the veggies area too just subbing in some plain ol’ Russets for the red or Yukon potatoes called for in the recipe and then adding some extra carrots and an extra turnip. The recipe said medium-sized carrots and one medium-sized turnip but it seemed like all the veggies available to me were mini-sized this week. The carrots seriously looked like a wand straight out of Harry Potter they were so skinny and twiggy. I mean if anyone’s wand in Harry Potter was orange. The potato sub was really just because I had the Russets and I never seem to be able to get through a whole bag of potatoes before they get all eye-y. Also, I have never really gotten the appeal of Yukon Gold potatoes. I think it’s just that I was raised on the very dependable Russet and I’m a little averse to change. Sue me. The turnips were actually really pretty and I meant to take a picture of them but I only remembered when I was halfway through peeling the most gorgeous one. Whoops! Here’s the majority of the veggies chillaxing with some butter and sugar – YUM!

I was a little bit afraid we were going to have a French Onion Soup repeat and not be eating until like 9:30 PM but we got to the table at the very respectable time of 7:45 – kind of European, but not full-on. More like just really cool, trendy Americans. That’s what I’m going with. Check out this perfect bite! It has a little bit of everything:

Since I didn’t make the real recipe, I feel unqualified to give a real opinion. This was a very nice beef stew that I will definitely enjoy for lunch for the next few days but I am left wishing that lamb was a little more affordable so I could have made the real deal. It does look pretty though, doesn’t it?

I feel obliged to mention the bread we ate with dinner because it is SO GOOD! We each had a toasted slice of English Muffin Bread with our soup and good lord it’s delicious. I baked it yesterday at work to combat a pervading gluey smell from some remodeling upstairs and I would highly recommend it. I have eaten it with every meal for the last two days. Yeah, it’s that good. So next week we’re making flounder – again forcing me out of my comfort zone and into the unknown world of cooking fish. It should be interesting assuming I can find some flounder to get all up in here. Wish me luck!

23 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie – Boeuf Printanier

  1. Good Job Mrs. Cheapy. I actually chickened out completely so you won’t see a post from me. After trying lamb last weekend in Vegas, there was no way I could go through with this. Looking forward to May and the yummy things planned there!

  2. Looks delicious! I don’t blame you for going with beef – I’m astounded by the price of lamb there, yikes! Lamb is considered expensive in South Africa, but nowhere near that price.

    PS thanks for the Versatile Blogger award, working on the post now, while cooking my lamb:)

  3. Hi Maggie – You made one incorrect statement in your blog – When you cooked your Christmas leg of lamb ealier this year you did not waste it!
    Another good blog – and you know what I would say about the stew!!!!!
    Your pictures always turn out great. I will always be on the lookout for deal on Lamb.
    Oh – by the way – you should be able to get flounder at Walmart. I just picked up a 10# bag of Swai and one of Talapia each for $10.38. Swai is just like flounder.
    Good luck

  4. Maggie….your stew looks delicious and yea I agree with you that it indeed delicious and I shall make this again and again. A one dish meal that is packed with flavors! Have a great day!

  5. I feel your pain with the cost of lamb. Luckily for me, I had a shoulder (of lamb, that is) in the freezer. But, the beef stew looked delicious. I know, raw meat isn’t a terrific photo op but I took a picture of it also. And, didn’t it all take about 2 hours? Hard meal to get if you begin after coming home from work. Never be afraid to express an opinion rather or not you’ve made substitutions. No one else is (afraid, that is). I love English Muffin Bread. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s.

  6. Tricia and I both went with the beef and the recipe turned out fantastic. I will try lamb
    someday if I see it on sale, but the only thing I could find now was a leg of
    lamb which was very expensive. I do like the preparation for this, just a bit different from
    the average stew. I love the photo in the red dish, beautiful.

  7. Nothing wrong with substituting beef when lamb is exorbitant. That’s what comfort in the kitchen is all about. The end result looks great. I never cooked with the pearl onions before, and I liked the way we learned to peel them. So easy. I have another half bag left, so I’ll have to try something else with them. Good luck with the fish next week. Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

  8. It just kills me that all of your are talking about using beef because it is cheaper. Over here beef is pretty much the most expensive meat you can buy, certainly way more expensive than lamb.

  9. I found a 40 dollar shoulder of lamb, and I was not going to buy it. Not for stew. A few days later I found a smaller piece for $22.00, but even that is was expensive for stew meat. These days lamb is a delicacy, unfortunately. The important thing is that what you made tasted good. A very enjoyable dish, either with beef or with lamb!

  10. No shame on using beef – if I am going to shell out money for a cut of meat, it has to be something that people are going to like. Lamb, wasn’t it…
    As long as you enjoyed it, that is what matters!

  11. if I had been in the States, I might have gone with beef instead of lamb, but lamb here in England isn’t nearly as expensive – especially when you can go to the butchers and get it! 🙂 Great job!

  12. I’ve noticed that my dinner time seems to be what you call the ‘trendy American’ time, which is about 7:30-8pm! Glad you enjoyed your beefy version, hope you do lamb next time.

  13. Don’t feel bad about substituting beef for the lamb – I’m sure it was just as delicious. Your photos sure make it look good!

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