Beef Bourguignon – French Beef Stew

Beef Bourguignon – French Beef Stew

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Here’s my take on Julia Child’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon – French Beef Stew. It’s so delicious. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and instructions. It’s worth the effort and is the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon!

Serving Beef Bourguignon

I fell in love with Julia Child after watching Julie and Julia and then reading Julia’s autobiography My Life in France. I have since been gifted with a collection of her cookbooks and cooking shows on DVD. I love watching her, especially in the early years of filming. She was a woman after my own heart. She loved to cook, and she loved to eat!

This recipe is also known as Beef Burgundy, Boeuf à la Bourguignonne, or even French Beef Stew. What makes French stew different from a regular stew? It’s cooked in wine–long and slow. And believe me, you can taste the difference. A simple country stew becomes a meal you can serve to your most honored guests.

Shop Cookbooks - Mastering the Art of French Cooking

After having studied Julia’s recipe, I was a bit intimidated by the many steps involved. Simmering bacon rind in water, comes to mind. 

Julia was trained by French chefs, and was meticulous in following the many layers in cooking that make extraordinary food.

Me, not so much. So this recipe is a slightly condensed version, with just a few tweaks here and there. I have a ridiculously hard time finding pearl onions. And when I do, I spend far too much time peeling them. One of my changes was to replace them with sweet onions. You may find Julia’s original recipe in her first volume, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. 

 

Ingredients for Beef Bourguignon – French Beef Stew

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • bacon, sliced
  • rump roast or chuck roast, cut into bites for stewing
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • large carrots
  • yellow onion
  • all-purpose flour
  • dry red wine such as Beaujolais, Burgandy, or Chianti
  • beef stock
  • garlic
  • tomato paste
  • dried parsley
  • crushed thyme
  • whole bay leaves
  • butter
  • sweet onions
  • white button mushrooms

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare your Ingredients:

Cutting the Roast for Beef Stew

Slice bacon into small pieces. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the roast into small pieces. Pat-dry the pieces of meat with paper towels.

For this recipe you want a nice quality meat such as a rump or chuck roast. You could even use round, although it may not be as tender or juicy. 

Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic. Set aside in prep bowls until ready to use.

 

Sear the Meat:

In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon pieces in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a large plate.

Add prepared pieces of beef to the hot Dutch oven and sear in remaining bacon grease.

Do not crowd the pan, but cook the pieces of meat in batches.

Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. As the pieces turn brown, remove them with slotted spoon and place on plate with bacon, repeating until all meat has browned.

 

Prepare the Stew:

Cooking the Carrots and Onions for the Stew

Add the sliced carrots and diced onions to the bacon fat and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Return seared meat and bacon to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with all-purpose flour. Toss to coat.

Place the Dutch oven in preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and toss the meat and vegetables once more. Return to the oven for another 4 minutes.

These repeated steps for baking the roux at a high temperature in the oven may seem unnecessary. But this is one of those “meticulous steps” that really adds depth and flavor to the dish. Don’t skip this part!

Remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Add the beef stock, dry red wine, minced garlic, tomato paste, dried parsley, crushed thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Cover and return to oven to cook for 2 1/2-3 hours. Toward the end of the baking time, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

 

Prepare Onions and Mushrooms:

Heat the bottom of a large skillet with butter and olive oil. Add the quartered onions and mushrooms and saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly browned.

If you would prefer to use pearl onions rather than the quartered onion, please do so. There IS something special about those little onions on the serving plate. My mother-in-law insists that she is able to find pearl onions in the freezer section at a local grocery store. I have yet to find them.

Add the sauted vegetables to the beef stew when it has finished cooking in the oven. Let the dish set for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serving Beef Bourguignon with Mashed Potatoes

Serve this rich stew over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, and a hard crusty bread such as Tangy Sourdough Bread or Rustic Sourdough Baguettes. This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

Wine Suggestions: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages, Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino (Sangiovese), or Shafer-TD9 (Bordeaux Red Blend).

 

Grandma’s thoughts on Julia Child’s Recipes

My Grandma, Doris Swiler (McKelvy) School Cook

My grandma was a very good home cook and would have been close to the same age as Julia Child, as she was born in 1921. I once asked grandma if she ever watched the television show The French Chef or tried any of Mrs. Child’s recipes. She wrinkled her nose and said that her recipes were too frivolous, and that the ingredients were too hard to find in our part of the Midwest.

And yes, a good portion of Julia Child’s recipes center on fish and seafood, which are certainly harder to come by at our local markets. However, we have a much better selection than my grandma would have had in the 1960s. I’d like to think that if my grandma were alive today and she were my dinner guest, that she would have loved this Beef Bourguignon recipe. And maybe, she would have wanted to make it herself. I hope that you will, too!

 

See more Main Dishes Here. View Beef Recipes Here.  Browse French Dishes Here.

 

Recipe for Beef Bourguignon - French Beef Stew

Beef Bourguignon - French Beef Stew

Here's my take on Julia Child's recipe for Beef Bourguignon. It's so good. Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and instructions. It's worth the effort! Serve over Mashed Potatoes with a hard crusty sourdough bread.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: France
Keyword: Beef Stew, Boeuf Bourguignon, Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, Carrots, Julia Child
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Glass Measuring Cups
Spurtle Set
Dutch Oven
Potholders

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. bacon sliced
  • 3 pounds chuck roast or chuck steak cut into 2" cubes, dried with paper towels
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine Beaujolais, Burgandy, or Chianti
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed thyme
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions sliced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms halved or quartered

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Prepare your ingredients.
    Slice bacon into small pieces. Pat-dry the pieces of meat with paper towels.
    Peel and slice the carrots. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic. Set aside in prep bowls until ready to use.
    Slice the onions and halve or quarter the mushrooms. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sear the Meat:

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon pieces in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a large plate.
  • Add beef to hot Dutch oven and sear in remaining bacon grease. (Do not crowd the pan, but cook the pieces of meat in batches.) Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. As the pieces turn brown, remove them with slotted spoon and place on plate with bacon, repeating until all meat has browned.

Prepare the Stew:

  • Add the sliced carrots and diced onions to the bacon fat and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Return seared meat and bacon to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with all-purpose flour. Toss to coat.
  • Place the Dutch oven in preheated oven and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and toss the meat and vegetables once more. Return to the oven for another 4 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Add the beef stock, dry red wine, minced garlic, tomato paste, dried parsley, crushed thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Cover and return to oven to cook for 2 1/2-3 hours. Toward the end of the baking time, prepare the sweet onions and mushrooms.

Prepare Onions and Mushrooms:

  • Heat the bottom of a large skillet with butter and olive oil. Add the prepared sliced onions and mushrooms and saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly browned. Add to the beef stew when it has finished cooking in the oven.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Serves 6-8.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated all butter used on this recipe site is salted.
**Wine Suggestions: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages, Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino (Sangiovese), or Shafer-TD9 (Bordeaux Red Blend).

Nutrition

Calories: 989kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 951mg | Potassium: 1388mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4239IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 6mg
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