January 28, 2011

Boeuf Bourguignon

I had several hours of free time today, so I finally did it... I tackled Boeuf Bourguignon, which I adapted from Julia Child's recipe. There are a lot of steps and the process is a bit lengthy but trust me when I say that this is so worth the time and effort! My house smells insanely delicious and my taste buds are in heaven. My husband and daughter love, love, loved it. Unfortunately, I do not have a dutch oven, so I had to alternate cooking between a casserole dish and large pot. Guess it's time to go out and buy one, huh? Husband, are you reading this?

Serves 3
Printable Recipe


  • 3 oz thick-cut bacon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 c red wine
  • 1 1/2 c beef stock
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
Braised Onions

  • 10 white pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c beef stock
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Preparing the stew

Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch thick by 1 1/2-inch long lardons. Simmer the lardons in 1 1/2 qt of water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry the lardons, set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat. Saute the lardons for 2 to 3 minutes until they are lightly browned.

Remove the lardons with a slotted spoon and place in a side bowl.

Dry off the beef and saute a few at a time in the same pot until nicely browned on all sides.

Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and place in the side bowl with the lardons.

Saute the onion and carrot, until soft.

Drain the fat from the lardons and beef and place in a casserole dish. Pour the carrots and onion over all.

Toss the contents of the pot with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour.

Pour into a large oven-safe casserole dish. Cook uncovered for 4 minutes. Remove from oven to toss again and cook for another 4 minutes.

Lower the heat of the oven to 325 degrees and remove the casserole dish from the oven. Pour the contents of the casserole dish back into the large pot.

Add wine and enough stock so beef is barely covered.

Add tomato paste, garlic and herbs.

Bring to a simmer on the stove. Pour the contents back into the casserole dish. Cover and place in the oven, adjusting the heat so the liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. After about an hour, I had to turn the heat down to 320 degrees because the simmer was too hard.
The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily. It took exactly 4 hours start to finish for my beef to be perfectly done.

While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. When they are finished, set them aside until needed.

Preparing the braised onion

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions. Saute for 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible without breaking apart. Pour in the stock, season to taste. Add herbs and cover.

Simmer over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes, until they are perfectly tender but retain their shape and liquid has mostly evaporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Preparing the sauteed mushrooms

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over high heat. As soon as foam begins to subside, add mushrooms and toss and shake the pan for about 5 minutes.

As soon as they are browned lightly, remove from heat.

Finishing the stew

When the meat is tender, remove from the oven and empty the contents into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Return the beef and bacon to the pot (discarding the bits of carrot, onion and herbs that remain in the sieve).

Distribute mushrooms and onion over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce and simmer for a minute or two, skimming off any additional fat which rises to the surface. You should be left with about 1 1/4 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tbsp of stock. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. I had to boil mine down a bit.

Taste for seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

If serving immediately, place the covered casserole over medium-low heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve in a the casserole or on a warm platter surrounded by noodles, potatoes or rice garnished with fresh parsley.

If serving later or next day, allow the casserole dish to cool and place it covered in the refrigerator. 20 minutes prior to serving, place it over medium-low heat and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.


Well, my little sous chef is at it again. She has added yet another rating to her scale.
Two thumbs up and two big toes up:
"Muy, muy, muy bien!"

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