Jennifer Garner Reveals Her Favorite Ina Garten Recipe—Which She's Made 'Countless Times'
The actress has been a longtime fan of the Barefoot Contessa.
In honor of the Food Network star guest editing Bon Appetit this week, the magazine asked several celebrity fans and chefs to write a personal essay on their favorite recipe from Garten for their How Easy Is That? series.
Though Garner, who has shared Garten’s recipes in the past on her Pretend Cooking Show, joked that it was an “unfair question” to make her pick, she eventually revealed that her favorite is her beef bourguignon.
“The first time I made it was ages ago—we were shooting Alias in the early 2000s, and my co-star Michael Vartan had hunted down a signed copy of Barefoot in Paris for me,” she says. “I made dinner for Victor Garber—who played my dad on the show—and his partner, Rainer. We were mid-season and had just finished a long week, and I somehow made this gorgeous meal on a Saturday night.”
Garner continues: “I remember being in my little house listening to music and drinking a glass of gorgeous red wine. (Always cook with a wine you’d like to have at the table, right, Ina?) The house smelled like winter when Victor and Rainer arrived, and the meal was done. I didn’t have to get up to check anything or stir or sauté—everything had cooked in the oven, and we just sat and ate and talked and laughed.”
Since making the recipe for her co-stars, the Camping star says she’s made it “countless times” for small parties and Christmas dinners, perfecting her method as she goes.
“I tried having a butcher cut the meat for me once and won’t do that again; I like my meat more carefully trimmed than just cubed,” she says. “I know now to watch the bacon carefully (it can go from sizzling to sizzled in a few short seconds), and that the grilled bread dipped in the stew is worth every bite—even if half the table is filled with actors on no-carb diets!”
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Garner, who has become friends with Garten in the past few years, says she’d love to make this for the 70-year-old chef and her husband.
“No matter what, it is absolutely a winner and gives everyone the feeling of luxury and time and depth of flavor,” she says. “I haven’t made this for Ina, but would be thrilled to—her recipe is foolproof and there is no one better to share a table with than Ina and Jeffrey!”
Get the full recipe to try for yourself on Bon Appetit here.