Unlike my usual slap dash -- let's say, rustic style -- I followed the rules. I simmered the lardons, I carefully dried the meat before browning, I toasted the flour with the beef in a hot oven. I've made versions of the classic French dish before, but this was Julia's signature recipe and I wanted it to be right.
I used my flame Le Creuset French oven -- just like Julia's.
To get the full effect actually requires 3 recipes. There is the actual stew. Then the "support" recipes for the braised onions, and sautéed mushrooms that get added in just as the dish is being warmed to serve.
I won't try to paraphrase Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the full recipe is available at Knopf's website. Try it at home when you have a spare 4 hours or so and a loved one to coddle and impress.