Food 5 essential books by Anthony Bourdain to add to your reading list From "Kitchen Confidential" to his unique cookbooks, here are works from the late chef that helped define his legendary career. Though Bourdain reached super stardom with his popular TV shows, he left an indelible mark on the world, not just through cooking or his on-air appearances, but through his passionate words. After news of his apparent suicide was reported last week, social media filled with Bourdainisms: quotes from the tell-it-like-it-is man whose insatiable curiosity brought him all over world to learn more about different cultures around the world and their distinct ways of life and, of course, eating. As far as you can, as much as you can, across the ocean, or simply across the river. Anthony Bourdain: A look back at his legacy June 8, Here are some of his most popular books, full of his wise words about chefs, food, travel and life.
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Advertisement My appreciation for boeuf Bourguignon entered late in my life. We wanted the new shiny thing around the bend. This was disappearing in the rearview mirror. And then one day, just as I would get into vinyl records, or started reading dusty books from some dead guy named Vonnegut, what was old became new again.
Advertisement Boeuf Bourguignon is old as the hills, first recorded in print in 19th century France. A beef stew in stock and red Burgundy wine on its face sounded as alluring as orthopedic shoe inserts. Read on The Inventory Perhaps I was wrong and she was right. Or put another way: What figurative fat could one trim? What is extraneous? What is the straightest line between two points? This dish was simply beef shoulder cooked in red wine, with sliced onions and carrots providing the sweet backbone.
Did this sound alluring? To be determined. Advertisement As with yesterday, I have decided not to reprint the Les Halles recipe verbatim. The lessons Bourdain impart could be applied to any boeuf Bourguignon. Bourdain preached the fundamentals that culinary school students learn in their first semester. For example: You should not crowd the pan with too much meat. The more brown on the surface of the meat, the greater the Maillard reaction , and the meatier your beef will taste. For those who log much time in the kitchen, this may already be second nature.
Advertisement Photo: Kevin Pang Once the two pounds of beef shoulder a nicely marbled cut ideal for long stewing had nice color on all sides, the meat was removed, and four onions—thinly sliced—went in the pot of olive oil and rendered beef fat.
Two points: 1 The cookbook does not specify what size of onions. The cookbook claimed 10 minutes—I think 20 minutes is more like it. Then I added a few tablespoons of flour, which would help thicken the stew. Photo: Kevin Pang Advertisement What surprised me most about this recipe was how little wine was used: just one cup of red Burgundy Pinot Noir would be an acceptable substitute. Most of the liquid in this dish was water straight from the tap.
For extra credit, Bourdain suggested adding two big spoonful of demi-glace. Then came the waiting. During those two hours the stew simmered, the tough cubes of beef loosened, collagens broke down, eventually yielding to a fork tine with little resistance. A low heat accomplished this. High heat would seize up the meat.
Refrigerate overnight. When time, heat and serve. I will buy into the narrative that waiting is better, and that my taste buds will confirm it. I chilled the pot in the fridge. Twenty-four hours passed. I reheated the pot—there was enough for six servings—and poured a glass of red Burgundy, the same wine that went in the stew. Photo: Kevin Pang Advertisement I stared at it from all angles, almost not believing my actions produced this bowl. Sure, deliciousness is a sliding scale, but delicious is delicious, full stop.
The beef separated with a gentle nudge of the fork. The soup: meaty, rich, thick with onions, familiar and soothing. An ideal vehicle for bread sopping. Would bacon, mushrooms, and veal stock improve the dish? Boeuf Bourguignon, turns out, is a simple pleasure.
It was always there, waiting for they day that I would find out. Tomorrow: Conquering pork rillettes.
5 essential books by Anthony Bourdain to add to your reading list
Shelves: food-cooking Lots of swearing at Americans for how we choose our cuts of beef, overcook green beans, etc. All of which I agree with because I am in love with Anthony Bourdain. My only criticism of this book is that there are not enough pictures of Anthony Bourdain in it. These recipes remind me once again why I do not love French cooking. Too much meat, too much meat fat, not enough fresh flavor. Most of the recipes call for homemade stock veal, chicken, beef, duck, lamb, fish and a bit of demi-glace. Bourdain devotes several pages to stocks and demi, without mentioning anything of a roasted vegetable stock, which I make and am fond of.
5 Lessons We Learned from Anthony Bourdain’s “Les Halles Cookbook”
Mason Contributor The Kitchen Stories ethos is simple: anyone can cook. We espouse that truth with unwavering certainty. All it takes is a basic interest in good food, the willingness to learn something new, and the courage to try. First, you need to adopt one indispensable, intangible skill—confidence. Almost everyone lacks any kind of formal training and entered the business as a dishwasher or night porter.