Recipe: Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon is basically a fancy beef stew… here in the United States we claim beef stew to be our own… but in reality.. it has deep roots in Europe… especially France…. Their version of beef stew is cooked with wine… lots of it… and cooked very slowly in a low heat oven… and finished off with pearl onions and mushrooms... just delicious!

Americans also throw in a host of vegetables… the French pretty much limit it to onions and carrots… in any case the result is melt in your mouth beef and a fabulous gravy with it… oh and let’s not forget those carrots…

This is extremely easy to make… it takes some time cooking…… but the reward is a wonderful meal! The house will smell fabulous!

My family has made a version of this for as long as I can remember… it was just natural to add wine to it… albeit not as much as this recipe has today.

One tip I found especially helpful from Ina Garten was using frozen pearl onions instead of fresh ones… I loved the result and it did cut down on the work a bit.


Many recipes thicken the stew toward the end… my recipe thickens naturally while cooking… because I dredge the meat in seasoned flour before I sear it… if you haven’t tried this method… try it you just may like my way better.

Use a good table wine.. one that you would consider drinking… don’t use those “cooking wines” .. they have terrible flavor and add a lot of salt to your dish. I suggest a Pinot Noir.. it doesn’t have to be expensive.

You can make this in a crock pot… BUT… you lose some of the flavor from the crusty browning remnants.. if you do decide to do this in a crock pot as opposed to baking in the oven… be sure to follow the first steps of cooking the bacon and searing the meat and softening the onions, garlic and carrots… place them all in the crock pot.. then deglaze the pot with some of the wine and pour that into the crock pot as well… then follow the rest of the instructions.

Note that I don’t add salt.. the bacon and the little bit of salt in the seasoned flour should be enough.. if it’s not to your tastes… and some at the end to your tastes.

This recipe makes about 5-6 servings… you can easily cut it in half .. as I usually do since there is only two of us… I usually have about a serving leftover… which makes for a mighty nice lunch.

Serve this with fresh bread and a small salad… and enjoy!

Recipe: Beef Bourguinon

All you need:

3 strips thick sliced smoked bacon, chopped
2 ½ pounds chuck beef cut into 1 inch cubes
½ cup flour
Garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
About 2 cups carrots, chopped
3 cups dry red wine
3-4 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 small bag frozen pearl onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound mushrooms, thick sliced

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven that can go into the oven also, cook the bacon over medium heat until slightly crisp and fat has rendered.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pat the meat dry with a paper towel then dredge in seasoned flour (flour, sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a heavy sprinkle of garlic powder).

Sear the meat in batches in the hot bacon grease. Add a bit of olive oil as needed if the pot gets dry.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a plate.

You will need about 2 tablespoons of fat or olive oil in the pan… if you don’t have that much bacon grease left.. add olive oil.

Add the onions, garlic and carrots and stir well. Cook until onions are soft.. about 10 minutes.

Add about a cup of wine to deglaze the pot.

Add the meat, bacon and vegetables back to the pot. Add the rest of the wine.

Add enough beef broth to cover the meat to 2/3 or so. Stir well.

Add the tomato paste and stir well.

Add the thyme and bay leaves.

Bring the pot back to a low simmer.

Put a lid on the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven.

Add beef broth as needed about 1 ½ into the cooking and stir. You don’t want it swimming but you don’t want it too thick either. Stir well.

Cook for another 1- 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender.

Add the pearl onions, replace the lid and continue cooking.

In a large skillet, melt the butter.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they are light brown and have rendered their juice.

Add the mushrooms and their juices to the pot… replace the lid and cook on top of the stove for about 15-20 minutes. Add any additional beef broth to get to consistency you want.

Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls.

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