Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon Family Dinner

French Fäience Figural Mustard by Alcide Chaumeil

It's Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch. Let's see what the chef has planned for dinner.

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

With the change of seasons, the cooler weather is the perfect time to make a stew, and what better choice than Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. To quote Julia, "As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good bouef bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated. "

Boeuf Bourguignon with Boiled Potatoes and Snow Peas

Those of you who follow my blog know that my husband is the chef in our household. Not only do I and our family and friends benefit from the fruits of his labors, having my own personal chef allows me more time to "play with the dishes" to set the table.

Dinner for Four

That's just what I did this week when we invited family over for dinner. While my husband was busy preparing the beouf bourguignon, I put together this setting for our meal.

I started with pewter chargers topped with white dinner plates in Wedgwood Nantucket. The flatware is Lauffer stainless in the Bedford pattern.

I like to use folded tea towels as placemats because of the size of the chargers. These are 100% cotton made in France for Williiams Sonoma.

The woven details in these linens are lovely. The borders are woven in tones of gold and tones of taupe and feature cows, chickens, rabbits, and ducks with vines and flowers. They offer a charming French country feel to go with the theme of a casual one dish dinner.

I used napkins in olive green and aubergine which are also from Williams Sonoma. The pewter napkin rings are each engraved with a different flower motif and are from the Netherlands.

I decided to use some contemporary Quimper pottery that we purchased about ten years ago. We have dinner plates and wide shallow dish bowls in this pattern. The plates have a scalloped rim so I included them on top of the white Nantucket for a touch of variety to the concentric circles of the other dishes.

These dishes are not typical of most pottery made in Quimper. They were produced at Fäiencerie Kéraluc by the artist L'Helguen. We purchased them at Gina Linzza's charming shop, Méli Mélo, in Houston, TX

You can see that the bowls are wide and shallow, perfect for stew. I often use these bowls for pasta dishes or main course salads.

The glassware is a mix of Ralph Lauren crystal in the Glen Plaid pattern and stems of Arte Italica's crystal with pewter bases.

I pulled in the metal 

leaf dish for bread service.

Each of the plates and bowls of the Quimper 

set are a bit different but of the same stylized flower theme.

I like the gray tones of this pottery 

with the pewter and the gold and taupe of the linens.

For a center piece, I used the wooden container of horse apples and ceramic acorns that I showed in this week's Outdoor Wednesday. You can read about them here.

I added small containers made of natural horn to hold votives and mixed in a few of the oversized ceramic acorns.

The glow of the candles through the natural horn adds a bit of warmth to the setting. I purchased these at Gump's several years ago and like to use them for small bouquets of flowers as well.

Dinner is ready, 

so sit down and have a bite. 

 It's delicious!

A glass of red wine is perfect with this dish. 

 Julia recommends a Beaujolais, a Bordeaux, or a Burgundy.

The sides of boiled potatoes and snow peas are the perfect compliment to the beef cooked in red wine with bacon, onions, and mushrooms.

We enjoyed apple cranberry pie for dessert with a scoop of Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream. The individual pies were made using a nifty mold from Williams Sonoma. Can you tell where we like to shop?

The pie molds come in various shapes (star, heart, apple, and pumpkin) and make perfect little pocket pies for individual servings. You can check them out here at Williams Sonaoma. I used the pie curst recipe found on the box and the apple cranberry pie recipe found on the WS site here.

I pulled in some more of our Quimper collection to serve the pocket pies. These dessert plates are part of a set made by Paul Fouillen, c1950. I used pumpkin shaped doilies under the pies, but this is what the decor is like. Each of the twelve dessert plates, the cake plate, and the server are all hand painted with a different stylized creature from the sea. The browns, greens, and rust colors of this fäience are definitely the color pallet of autumn. Notice the rim of these plates are hand crimped. They are very delicate in feel.

Paul Fouillen and his son, 

Maurice Fouillen, are known for their distinctive pottery.

Thanks for joining me today. Please leave a comment below so I know who stopped by. Then click here to visit Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch where you'll be treated to some fabulous tablescapes.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. This looks SOOOO good!! The tablescape AND the food! I'm on a diet, this is not good, but it looks great!!

  2. What a great team - he's the chef, you're the tablescaper! Everything looks wonderful!


  3. Sarah-I love the gray of the Quimper--so different and perfect for fall. I am determined to make this Julia recipe but have not yet. Did your husband make the pies too?--those indvidual pans are just too cute! Love it all!

  4. Beautiful table, just lovely. The individual pumpkin shaped pie bakers look like lots of fun!

    - The Tablescaper

  5. Your table is beautiful and your dishes are so wonderful put together the way you have. Love the wooden bowl with the acorns, love them

  6. This is so beautiful Sarah and elegant too! Julia would be so proud of you and hubby~ thanks for sharing Cindy

  7. Hi Sarah,This table is so beautiful... Love the colors...Wish my husband would do some of the cooking...
    I have sent you a new E-mail with my address please let me know if you get it...A little note with it to let you know what is going on with me.. Thanks so much Julie

  8. What a gorgeous table for a wonderful meal! The Quimper is beautiful. I, too, love WS...might go there today!


  9. Hi Sarah,
    Loved the tablescape today, I have never seen the Keraluc design before, very interesting.
    Using the Fouillen for dessert was a great idea, the whole table came together beautifully.
    Mr B cooks a great bourguignon, using a Paul Bocuse recipe, I think.
    When you eventually come to visit they can do "Iron Chef"!! and you & I can sit back, enjoy the vin and watch the fun.

  10. Beautiful table, luscious looking food, great ambiance, what more could one want? I immediately thought those bowls and plates were Keraluc, was happy to find they were. They are most interesting, as are the Fouillen pieces, and well, all of it!

  11. Hi Sarah!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and adding my give away button! You are truly lucky to have a built in chef at home! such talent for my hubby! Tee Hee! Your meal of Boeuf Bourguignon looks delicious and served in your Quimper dishes..absolutely mouthwatering! Your tablescape is beautiful and welcoming. I enjoyed all the touches and details. Happy TT and Good Luck in my giveway! Hugs!

  12. Zonk! I am just bowled over by your beautiful Quimper pottery pieces, Sarah!
    You have an outstanding collection & have put them together with such a sublime color palette.

    I ♥ your BIG acorns!!! Waaay better than the ones I tried to send to you. LOL The green things are called "monkey balls" in FL. Their color is just awesome.

    How lucky you are to have a hubby that cooks. Mine can make eggs & fried balogna...thats it. :/

  13. Oh & I forgot to say thanks for telling me about the wingdings. It wasn't your computer, it was mine.

    (I sure wish Blogger would let us edit our comments)

  14. Fabulous table! I love the little mustard pot...the dishes are just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I love the pottery dishes. I've wanted to make this recipe, but I put it off because it is complicated and there are just the 2 of us now. This is one of those times I wish my husband liked to cook! Sue

  16. what a great looking dinner! you dishes are so unsual, really like them~

  17. So so pretty! Love the setting and Wow a great Chef too! Just wonderful!

  18. Such a lovely table! Very Elegant. I am still wanting to try that recipe!


  19. What a gorgeous table! I love the Quimper dishes...I'm hearing more and more about them from various blog entries ~ your set is so pretty. And how lucky to have your hubby as your personal chef!

  20. Oh Sarah, how I love coming to see the beauty on your tables. Some day, I'd love for you to show us where you store all of this gorgeous Quimper. Love the little chef mustard server. You have some of the prettiest treasures I've ever seen. These Quimper plates and bowls are such a unique pattern. I'm going to show my husband the beautiful meal that your husband cooked! I'm not much of a cook, and I've always tried to turn him into a chef, but other than grilling outdoors, he hasn't put on the kitchen apron yet! Maybe your husband's dinner will inspire him! laurie

  21. Good Morning Sarah,

    You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful life partner! I think you are spoiled...LOL!!

    If my husband were to prepare a meal for me, at best it would be a couple of scrambled eggs and an undercooked sausage patty. BUT, I would be gracious and eat it, no doubt! His best family meals are Chinese take-out and they come with their own "china"...quick and easy is the name of his dishes.

    I do love all the collections that you have to make your dining experiences special. I am sure your guests love getting a dinner invitation from you! Not only do they get a great meal presented in perfect form but they get to enjoy the pleasure of dining with people that certainly appear to be superb gracious hosts!

    Have a great weekend!

  22. Hi Sarah! I love visiting your blog and getting a peek at all of your wonderful Quimper pottery! You have some very unique pieces. The boeuf bourguinon looks so good! And I love that you served it with potatoes, as I have had it in France. Your hubby must be a wonderful...and patient...chef to work through Julia's very involved recipe! Your guests were treated to a feast...both real and visual! Happy weekend...hugs...Debbie

  23. It was nice to get a glimpse of your wonderful collection of tableware! What a lovely table and great-looking food!

  24. Oh what a lovely table. All of your dishes are stunning, I love them all and as Debbie said, so French. Your meal looks delicious too. Stunning. Hugs, Marty

  25. Sarah, everything looks beautiful - and delicious. How wonderful to have your very own "live in" chef.

    I love the combinations of colors, patterns and textures you used.

  26. Sarah, What a knock-out, stunning table setting! Classy, unusual Quimper, and totally beautiful results! What lovely taste you do have..and I am coming for dinner!
    THAT looks so delicious, and is one of my favorites on a cool day. Your blogs are delightful.

  27. Sarah, I'm just fascinated by the contemporary Quimper. I've never seen any like that before, and it's neat! Love the whole table!


    Sheila :-)

  28. And the food looks great, too! May I borrow your hubby???


    Sheila :-)

  29. The grays in your Quimper are so timely. Everyone is dusting off the old Julia Child recipes, it seems -- she is the sole reason I can cook something besides Southern! I read an interesting article recently in a column called "Uncorked" about Julia's suggestions for the right wine with this dish -- and this particular wine "authority" did not agree! Imagine challenging Julia!

    Scribbler in Alabama

  30. wow, you out did yourself on this one!! What a wonderful presentation of the food!!

  31. What a beautiful table setting. Love the plates and the rabbits on the tea towels. not to mention the fab dinner, YUM!

  32. Everything is so beautiful - even the food! What fun you must have had setting the table. Your dishes are all fabulous. The food must have been extra delicious on such a wonderful table scape. Lucky guests!


  33. Gray is a color I don't often see in dishes. It's just lovely with the pewter.

    That meal is so elegantly presented--love the parsley potatoes on the edge instead of in the stew.
    The natural horn to hold votives is very different, too. I really enjoyed this one, Sarah. Thanks for sharing it.

  34. i made boeuf bourguignonne from julia child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", today. Your tablescape for the dish is absoslutely magnificent!! The center piece and other colors in the dish complement each other. I also love the acorns and candles.
    I am crazy about the color scheme,as it is the same colors as in my room. Have a great meal.

  35. Sarah, What a beautiful find in your Quimper Keraluc pattern. It makes for a beautiful contemporary table setting. My husband and I just recently watched the movie Julie and Julia, and I know that beef bourguignon is not an easy recipe. Your a lucky girl with your husband in the kitchen. I love your phrase "play with the dishes". When I start to photograph my dishes for a blog my husband refers to it as "playing house". Your blog is beautiful!
    The French Hutch

  36. Hi there,I enjoy reading through your article post, I wanted to write a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. All the best for all your blogging efforts.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.