Or "en Englas"... Musk Ox Bourguignon.
Growing up, my dad used to watch Julia Child, and I looked on with amazement as her high pitched voice would talk you through the recipe's. I loved it when she screwed up...cause oftentimes, I do too. Oops, you got an egg shell in your quiche? Ah well...consider it protein! Did I drop the duck in the dirt while plucking it? Oh well, it'll cook off in the oven!
Eskimo's ALWAYS have the following on hand. Onions, Carrots, potatoes, and some sort of meat. Today, the meat of choice is Musk Ox.
Last week, I ran off to Anchorage for Kaisa's eye appointment, and was able to watch "Julie and Julia" - a movie basically based on a blog posted about making every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Julie Powell makes the recipe's and blogs about her mess ups, her life and her job. I'm no movie critic, but I watched with a 6 yr old and both her and I LOVED it.
I know some, if not most of the recipes in her book are outdated, and possibly grody to us common folk, but the essence of a cook who LOVES to cook is there. And I love it. (Liver Jello anyone?)
But, anyone with even a Like-of-cooking attitude can sort of "fix" the French Cooking recipe's to be your own. I'm sure this Julia Child craze will sort of reignite gourmet cooking in America.
As for me, I live in a damp town (prohibits the sale of alcohol, but you can bring it with you as luggage) with two grocery stores and rarely anything one would consider of French Gourmet Food. But I also live in a place where my freezers and backyard (literally) are filled with "gourmet" foods.
OH...like what you ask!?
Caribou, Musk Ox, Moose, Ducks, Geese, Seal, Rabbit, Ptarmigan, and others. All ORGANICALLY fed, all readily available. All at my fingertips.
And because I have all this at my fingertips, and I'm a lover of my oven and cast iron pans, and salad master pots...I cook every day. If you want gourmet, come on over. Sure, some days we may have baked chicken nuggets. But those chicken nuggets might be made with duck breasts, rolled in mayonnaise and coated with italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, baked in the oven, with a homemade honey mustard dressing. Mmmm, chicken nuggets.
Lets work together to revive REAL Gourmet Cooking in a full on Alaskan sense! And if you don't live in Alaska...you live in southern California...I'm sure there are natural, organic items you could get your hands on that I can't. Like Brussels Sprouts! You can always use what you have on hand.
Last night, my daughter an I made Musk Ox Bourguignon. I had an extra bottle of wine, and who doesn't like cooking with wine!? Everything we needed, I had, so why not?
We started out by using the largest cast iron pan I had (I think we have FOUR) and cooked down some bacon. Once the bacon was a crisp brown, we moved it into a large pot. I added some great marbled Musk Ox chunks to the pan and browned them on each side.
We then moved browned ox chunks to hang out in the pot with the bacon and added a chopped onion and about three or four large chopped carrots to the pan. By this time, my sense of smell was euphoric, and I had to add more to the mess! Once the carrots and onions were browned and semi soft, we threw them into the goodness with the Ox.
Using a great bottle of Cab/Merlot, we deglazed the pan and made sure we picked up EVERY little brown tidbit and poured it over the party mix. Saving, of course...a glass for me! To that, we added some dried herbs, whatever we had on hand, I think it was two cloves of garlic, parsley, oregano and a bay leaf...with seasoned salt.
We also added a can of diced tomatoes, and enough beef stock (or water mixed with beef bullion) to almost cover the mix.
Kaisa worked hard and cut mushrooms into quarters, and I cut up some yellow potatoes into quarters while the mixture came to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, we added the roux that we made with flour and melted butter, covered it and put it into the oven to cook for an hour.
While the party pot was in the oven, I browned the mushrooms and set the potatoes on the stove to boil.
Once browned and boiled, the mushrooms were added to the pot and the potatoes were smashed with a smasher and a STICK of butter was added to that. Nothing else...just yellow potatoes and a stick of butter! YUMMY!
We set the Bourguignon on the stove for a bit to settle, and cool off. Kaisa plopped some smashed potoatoes into bowls and I ladled the goodness we call Bourguignon on top. It was heavenly. I ate enough for two adult wrestlers!