Best Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Is it even Beef Bourguignon if you don’t follow Julia Child’s recipe?? Turns out, yes. This fabulous French beef stew featuring burgundy wine is famous for a reason! It is different from a regular beef stew because the wine sauce is richer and thicker, and great care is taken to ensure the vegetables are not overcooked.
- 6 servings
- 3 Hours 15 Minutes
- 1013 cal
- bacon OR salt pork*8 ounces
- chuck roast, chopped into 2 inch pieces3 pound
- salt and pepper
- oil for searing beef and sautéing veggies
- butter, for coating beef with flour1 tbsp
- flour1/3 cup
- onion, chopped1 large
- carrots, about 7-8 medium, chopped into 1-inch pieces1 pound
- cloves garlic, smashed and sliced6
- red wine, 750ml bottle3 cups
- Zoup! Good, Really Good® Beef Bone Broth2-4 cups
- tomato paste2 tbsp
- parsley, chopped1/3 cup
- thyme sprigs6 fresh
- leaves2 bay
- rind from salt pork, if using
- frozen pearl onions14 ounces
- water2 cups
- kosher salt1/2 tbsp
- butter2 tbsp
- mushrooms, halved or quartered1 pound
- butter, divided4 tbsp
- olive oil, divided2 tbsp
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If using bacon
Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook over medium heat in a large oven-safe pot that has a lid. I prefer an enameled cast iron pot like this one from Lodge. Do not overcook the bacon. Set the cooked bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate; leave all the grease in the pot. (Turn off the heat if your beef is not ready for searing.)
If using salt pork
cut the rind off the end of the salt pork and set aside (we need it later). Slice the salt pork into strips about 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch by 1 and 1/2 inches. (see photos) Cook the salt pork in a large oven-safe pot that has a lid. over medium heat. Arrange the strips of salt pork in one layer in the pot, cook until browned, then turn each strip (just as you would bacon). The salt pork should be lightly browned when you remove it to a paper towel lined plate. Leave all the grease in the pot. (Turn off the heat if your beef is not ready for searing.)
Sear the beef
Chop your beef into roughly 2 inch pieces; they don’t have to be exact. Use a paper towel to dry off each piece of beef. (If you don’t do this, the meat will not brown.) Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Turn on the burner to medium high heat to warm up the bacon/salt pork grease. There should be plenty of grease (at least 2 tablespoons), but if there is not, add additional olive oil. When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the beef, one piece at a time. Leave 1-2 inches space in between each piece so that it has room to sear (otherwise it will not brown). Let the beef cook in the oil for 1-2 minutes, until well browned, then flip each piece over with tongs and brown the other side. Remove the beef to a plate and continue searing the rest of the beef in batches until all the beef is done, adding additional oil as necessary. Adjust the heat as necessary so that it doesn’t burn.
Coat beef with flour
When the last batch of beef is seared, lower the heat to medium and add all the beef back to the pot. Add the cooked bacon or salt pork into the pot. Add a tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Stir to coat all the meat. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the top. Stir to coat each piece of beef with flour. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the flour has absorbed and had a chance to heat up and cook (this gets rid of the flour flavor.) Turn off the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch high sided skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and chopped carrots. Let cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown.
Add 6 cloves of sliced garlic to the carrots and onions (add additional oil if necessary). Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Do not let it brown. Remove the vegetables to a plate or bowl and set aside.
Reduce the wine, optional
In the same 12 inch high sided skillet, add 3 cups of red wine, which is just about the entire bottle if you bought 750ml. Bring to a boil over high heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the vegetables. Lower to a rolling simmer and let cook until the wine has reduced by about a cup, about 10-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven
to 300 degrees F
Bring the stew to a simmer on the stovetop
Once the wine is reduced, pour it on top of the beef in the pot. (Don’t bother washing the skillet. We need it again.) Add enough beef broth to almost cover the beef in the pot. It should be mostly covered with just a few pieces sticking up over the surface. Set over medium high heat and bring to a simmer, making sure to scrape the bottom so it doesn’t burn.
Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 6 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, and the rind from the salt pork, if you have it. Stir it all together. (Don’t add the carrots yet.)
Once simmering, cover the pot with an oven safe lid. Put the covered pot in the oven with a rack set in the lower third of the oven. Cook at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After an hour and a half,*** add the sautéed carrot mixture to the pot. Stir together, cover, and return to the oven for another 60-90 minutes. Your beef should be cooking in the oven for a minimum of 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours. We are adding the carrots halfway so that they don’t get too mushy.
Meanwhile, prepare the pearl onions
Add the frozen onions to the same 12-inch high sided skillet that you reduced the wine in. (No need to wash it out.) Add 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons butter. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and let the onions simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all the water has evaporated, let the onions saute in the remaining butter until they are browned on all sides. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.
Prepare the mushrooms.
Clean the mushrooms and dry them very well. Leave small mushrooms whole, halve or quarter any large ones. In the same pan that you prepared the pearl onions, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. When it is very hot, add HALF of the mushrooms. Saute for about 4 minutes. First the mushrooms will absorb the fat, then after about 4-5 minutes they will start to release it again and brown. When they start to brown, remove the mushrooms to a plate. Repeat the same process for the second batch of mushrooms. (Yes, of course you can saute the mushrooms all at once if you prefer. Doing it in batches lets you sear the mushrooms rather than steaming them in a crowded pan. Fussy step? Yes! It’s beef bourguignon! Take shortcuts when you start shaking your fist at the sky!) Remove all the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
When your beef has been cooking for a minimum of 2 and 1/2 hours, remove from the oven and test the meat. You should be able to break up the beef with a wooden spoon. If it is still too tough, put it back in the oven for another 20-40 minutes.
Taste the sauce and thicken if necessary
At this point, Julia calls for straining the whole thing and cooking down the sauce some more, but I found it wasn’t necessary. The sauce should be rich, creamy, and thick. It should coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thin, use a colander to strain out all the meat and veggies (catching the sauce in a bowl), return the sauce to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the thyme stems, bay leaves, and salt pork rind, if using. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot and stir it together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the beef bourguignon over mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.
Serve & Enjoy
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