We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's been a few years since I made this thing, so we made some yesterday for practice before I begin to serve it to friends for supper. Planning a bunch of suppers before Spring. Tried my version out on my father-in-law. He likes food.
If you asks him what restaurant he wants to go to tonight, he says one with food. But especially one with oysters, which is for tonight.
I use Julia Child's recipe, but I modify it a bit. My modifications: 3x as much garlic, lots of thyme sprigs from the garden, 1/2 cup of Port or some sugar, and a small handful of dried porcinis. Also, to keep it simple, I just throw in a bag of frozen pearl onions for the last 30 minutes of cooking. I do brown the fresh mushrooms and throw them in the pot for the last 30 minutes. I don't use the oven at all, just 3 hrs simmering on the stove.
Traditional ways to serve this is in a shallow bowl with french bread, or on a plate with (white) rice or roasted potatoes.
(Tip for those who like rich, earthy sauces: You can buy dried porcinis online, much cheaper than at the store. I buy them by the pound, but it doesn't take many to provide the flavor. You use the water you soak them in, too.)
My wife is a foodie and a very good cook. However, when she serves dishes that include wine . . . well . . . to a country boy that grew up without wine in cooked food . . . it just gives the food an off flavor. I think it overpowers the flavor of the beef.
But that's just me i guess. Maggie's resident Philistine.
Our test is - if you wouldn’t drink it don’t cook with it. And as to over powering flavour: deglazing with it cooks off the alcohol more effectively than adding after other ingredients makes a big difference. And a little wine goes a long way for flavour. 1/4 - 1/2 cup reduced by deglazing is plenty for a big stew pot.
I agree about cooking with the same wine you drink, but very good wine does not equate to very expensive wine. Unless you've gone to school for it you probably can't tell the difference between a $50 bottle and a $15 bottle when other things are equal. And even experts often fail the taste test. The orignal dish was probably made with homemade wine, anyway.