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Julia Child's Minced Braised Beef Served in a Beef Shell

Mastering the Art of French Cooking | Julia Child

Recipes 119-120

- Piéce de Boeuf à la Cuillére [Minced Braised Beef Served in a Beef Shell], p. 313
- Oignons Glacés à Brun [Brown-braised Onions], p. 483

You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking which contains these recipes here.


Butter Count: +15 TB

Cost: $72.90 [~$6.63 per serving]


Brace yourself for this recipe. My husband said that this was his favorite Julia recipe so far hands-down. I mean how can you go wrong with beef braised in red wine served in a parmesan-crusted beef shell? The entire beef is braised and then the center is cut out. The center is then chopped up and mixed with sautéed mushrooms, ham, and the braising sauce. It is all returned to the shell to serve. It is all surrounded by carrots, sautéed potatoes, and braised onions. Overall, this is an amazing dinner that makes an incredible presentation. I am expecting my husband to keep requesting it.

Julia Child Braised Beef

Braised Beef Julia Child

Julia Child Beef Braised in Red Wine

The beef is marinated and braised in the exact same manner as the previous recipe. Once removed from the oven, a two-pound weight is set on top of the meat in order to preserve its shape while it cools. The meat is hollowed out in order to form a shell. I personally like to call it a meat canoe because mine looked like a boat!

Julia Child Beef Shell

Beef Shell Julia Child


Mushrooms are sautéed with oil, butter, and green onions. The mushrooms, boiled ham, some of the braising juices are added to the chopped beef that was removed from the center. It is all covered and simmered for about twenty minutes, filmed with butter, and set aside until later.

Julia Child Minced Braised Beef

An egg wash is brushed onto the beef shell, and it is covered with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. This made the beef taste AMAZING. However, I had such trouble getting it all to stick to the meat. I actually was only able to use about half of the amount of bread crumbs which was a bummer. The shell is sprinkled with melted butter and placed in the fridge until needed. This much of the recipe can be completed up to a day in advance making it a wonderful option for a dinner party.

Julia Child Braised Carrots

Ten minutes before serving, the shell is placed into a 450-degree oven to melt the cheese and brown the bread crumbs. The filling, sauce, and vegetables are reheated. The suggested vegetables include braised onions, braised carrots, and sautéed potatoes. You can also serve with baked tomatoes, green beans, and braised lettuce, but I think the first option is far superior. The carrots are braised in butter. The small white onions are first sautéed in butter and oil for about ten minutes. Some beef bouillon, salt, pepper, and an herb bouquet (parsley sprigs, bay leaf, thyme) are added, and it is all simmered for about fifty minutes until the liquid has evaporated.


Julia Child Brown-braised Onions

The beef shell is filled with the mushroom mixture and topped with parsley. The vegetables surround it all while the sauce is passed separately. Mmmmhmmm! Delicious! This may find itself in the top ten list.

Julia Child Piece de Boeuf a la Cuillere

Minced Braised Beef Served in a Beef Shell

You can find these recipes and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Bon appétit!

June 24, 2020 by Laura Bullock


This Minced Braised Beef Served in a Beef Shell blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give laurathegastronaut.com some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.

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Laura The Gastronaut

Hi! Welcome to my blog!

My name is Laura. I am a home cook, science junkie, Julia Child fan, daydreamer, beach lover, and major foodie. My goal is to document myself learning to cook, inspire you to cook, and share some great recipes with you along the way. I'm so glad you are here. Bon appétit! learn more →

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