Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine)

This dish is a French classic: a stew created by braising a tough cut of beef in red wine, cooking long and slow to yield something hearty, tender, and full of flavor.

Beef Bourguignon, served over noodles

Now shocking as this may seem, this isn’t a summer dish, but that’s ok–I actually made it during the winter, lol! Can you tell that I’m not great about getting all of my posts published right away? 😉 This recipe is based on that of the great Julia Child from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One, a book I’d highly recommend to anybody who is serious about cooking good food (I’ve also discovered the re-runs of her fantastic TV series on PBS–very worth a watch!).

So whether the weather is cold or you just want something to warm you up and make you feel good from he inside out, this is a stew that will do the trick. The beef becomes fall apart tender while the broth of the stew takes on a very full bodied character–rich from the vegetables, braised shallots, mushrooms, and most importantly, the strong red wine. I chose to add a few additional spices to complement the wine, just to give it a curious additional note, in this case, star anise and tarragon for a subtle but nonetheless distinct anisey character. The result is very hearty and very tasty.

I chose to serve this stew over pasta, so this is my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights.

  • 3 lb beef (chuck roast, top round, or bottom round)
  • ~5 slices bacon
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups full-bodied red wine (e.g. Burgundy)
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • handful of thyme
  • parsely
  • 3 whole cloves
  • dash of allspice
  • few sprigs of tarragon
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 oz mushrooms (I used dried porcini)
  • Braised shallot(s)
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1 (or more) shallot
    • 1/2 cup braising liquid (beef stock, mushroom stock, red wine, white wine, whatever)
    • parsely
    • thyme
    • 1/2 Bay leaf
    • salt
    • pepper

Cook the bacon and render out the fat

Get whatever pot you intend to cook this in–I went with a good sized dutch oven. Get this hot and brown your bacon for about 10 minutes to cook the bacon, and more importantly, to render out the fat. Once time is up, remove the bacon and set aside.

Cube and season the beef

Now, cube the beef into roughly 1-2 inch cubes and rub with salt, pepper, and dredge in flour.

Brown the beef in bacon grease

Brown the seasoned beef on all sides in the rendered bacon fat, working in batches if necessary (as crowding the beef would result in steaming, which is not what you want). Set the beef aside.

Sauté the veggies

With the beef removed and the bacon fat still hot, sauté the carrot, shallot, and celery for about 8 minutes, adding the garlic for an additional 2 minutes. After this, add the browned beef back into the mix and pour in the red wine to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Simmer in wine, broth, herbs

Once deglazed, add in the beef stock, herbs, dry spices, crumbled bacon from earlier, and tomato paste. Mix this well and get it up to an active simmer. Put the lid on and transfer this to a 325°F oven for 2.5-3 hours.

Sauté shallot(s)

While you wait on the beef, its on to the braised shallots. If you were to follow the original Julia approach, you’d be brown braising pearl onions, but since those have “onion” in the name, my wife would be very upset with me for bringing those in the house (for the non-regular readers, onions have been banned 😮 ), so shallots it is!

Since pearl onions are small, you wouldn’t bother dicing them at all, but shallots are a little bigger, so I instead halved them (and peeled off the papery coating). Sauté these in about a tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes or so, trying to brown them as evenly as possible on all sides. Then, add in about 1/2 cup of something to braise with–whether it be beef stock, red wine, white wine, or in my case, the liquid used for reconstituting dried porcini mushrooms (mixed with some beef stock). Also add salt, pepper, and the herbs, covering and gently simmering for about 40 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the shallots are quite tender. Remove the herbs and discard.

Finished beef, mushrooms, etc, separated from liquid

With the braised onions/shallots done and the beef still slowly cooking in the oven, sauté the mushrooms. If using dried (like me), reconstitute the mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes or so, after which, you should dice and sauté in butter with a dash of salt for about 10 minutes (or until they finally just begin to caramelize). Set this aside.

Boil and reduce the liquid

So finally, time is up and the beef is tender and done cooking. Remove all of the beef and bacon from the broth and set this aside. Set this aside with the braised onions/shallots and sautéed mushrooms. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids. Boil this rapidly to thicken a bit, reducing to about 2 cups. Do your best to skim off any fat that bubbles to the surface while this is going.

Once you’re done reducing the sauce, return the beef mixture to the sauce and turn off the heat.

Some time during all of this, it would be good to prepare a side dish. I chose to cook some pasta, but a better side dish would be some baked/boiled potatoes. If you go pasta, plate a round of pasta noodles with some of the stew in the middle. Some crusty baguette would also be quite nice to have on the side.

Enjoy!

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20 Responses to “Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine)”

  1. Meeta Says:

    A classic and simply delicious. I love your style of cooking Mike!

  2. Jan Says:

    Mike – That looks really tasty! I love the pictures too.

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    Ahhhh, beef Wellington and now this — you are really working your way through all of the classics! Even in summer, I could be tempted by a plate of this stew.

  4. Peter Says:

    Oh, the aroma must have wafted over to the neighbors too with the star anise…how exotic.

    You got a great colour on the meat and sauce…thick and brown!

  5. kittie Says:

    Despite the sun outside, there is no way I would turn down a bowl of this!
    I ordered that book yesterday – we are doing a cook book review of volume 1 – I’m excited and a bit scared 😉

  6. Raquel Says:

    Ah, yes, perfect for autumn or winter. Looks lovely. I would definitely serve with potatoes!

  7. Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet Says:

    Looks delicious Mike! Definitely hearty enough for these last lingering days of cold here in chicago!

  8. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    I’m really into the rustic look and feel of these photos. I don’t care if this is a winter dish or not. Good food is good food!

  9. Sarah Says:

    Excellent choice Mike! This has been on my list of “to-make” dishes for a long time now. And I’m so glad you’re recognizing the wonderful Julia Child, as she deserves so much credit. I also appreciate the step by step photos along the way! :)

  10. Kevin Says:

    That beef bourguignon look so tasty!

  11. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    I’ve got to hand it to you Mike. You sure don’t shy away from a challenge! What an undertaking. Your BB looks like Julia, herself, made it. Fabulous!

  12. 61mike Says:

    Mike, Great looking dishes. I too am a Julia Child fan. I have both vol. of her The Art of French Cooking. Along with several other French chiefs. You have a wonderful site. And I’m enjoying reading and watching your site. Hope I can add something to this site some day……. Your doing great my friend.

    61mike

  13. grace Says:

    i love how you put “~5 slices bacon.” that approximation symbol is dangerous–to me, 15 slices would be close enough to 5 to say “approximately.” :)

    great dish!

  14. Ruth Says:

    Great book, great dish, great post. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night. And sigh…late or no…it’s perfect for the weather we’re having here in Halifax.

  15. noble pig Says:

    It really looks amazing!

  16. nina Says:

    I can imagine, a warm log fire going, beef slowly cooking and a bottle of the best red…bring on the cold nights.

  17. RecipeGirl Says:

    This brings back memories. My mother always made this when we were little.

    I’ve never actually looked at Julia Child’s MTAOFC! I should take a peek. It terrifies me!

  18. IVY Says:

    We all love this dish in my family but I love the addition of several spices you have added. This is bookmarked for winter again.
    I just realized how many of your posts I missed.

  19. Carolina Says:

    I watched all Julia’s shows growing up. I also experimented with her dishes which were lovely.
    I like this recipe.
    On my quick home style, I kind of throw everything together when I braise the beef. I add the carrots and the onions and let them braise with the beef. Then stew it for about an hour or more with the liquid. Then I add the cut potatoes which I braised added s & p with some garlic powder sprinkled on it. I basically use the same ingredients only I’m not as patient. I really love the dish, especially now when the weather changes. I was looking for a side dish, but I was thinking probably biscuits were good. I wish I could cook like you.

  20. Julie and Julia « Ladida. Says:

    […] Beouf Bourguinon.  […]

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