Friday, March 11, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon was made well known in America by the famous Julia Child. It is a comforting, warm, meaty stew whose French name translates in English to "Beef Burgundy", but is most commonly known as 'Beef Bourguignon' (half English, half French). As the name hints, the beef braises in red wine (the 'burgundy' from the Burgundy region of France) over an extended period of time. This cooking method tenderizes the meat so much that it is possible to use a very cheap, tough cut of meat that would otherwise be undesirable. Because this beef stew worked so well with cheaper cuts of meat, it was classically the "poor man's" stew in France. Now it is just a great hearty meal; perfect for a chilly day when you want to come home and make the house smell warm and yummy and fill your tummy!

Shopping List (for 3 servings)

  • 1 lb raw Beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion, roughly sliced (or a large handful of pearl onions)
  • 3 large Carrots, sliced into medallions
  • 3 small Potatoes, cubed (or mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon of minced Garlic
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 can Green Beans, drained (or peas)
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • Seasonings of your choice: I just used black pepper and a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, and it was very flavorful, but you can add any seasonings you like; some other traditional bourguignon herbs are parsley and bay leaves.

(no added salt necessary as beef broth is already salty)

Typically, beef bourguignon starts by browning bacon and then sauteing the beef cubes in the rendered bacon fat. However, I have (obviously) skipped the bacon fat step. Instead, start by heating a tablespoon or so of oil in a wide dutch oven. When it is very hot (almost smoking), add your cubes of beef, and brown on all sides.
**Note, your oil needs to be very hot before you add the meat so that you can sear and brown the outsides and keep moisture inside that will cook tenderly as it braises in the stew later.

Add the beef broth, wine, minced garlic, and herbs/seasonings. Stir well. 
Bring to a boil, place lid tightly on pan, then turn heat to LOW. 
Let it simmer, covered and over LOW heat for 1 hour:

After 1 hour, you will have a thick, rich, flavorful base for your stew. Add your carrots, onions, and potatoes at this time:

Cover again, and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so (until your veggies are tender):

After your root veggies have simmered and softened, add the green beans for about 5 minutes (until they are heated through):

Mix corn starch into 2 tablespoons of water and whisk into a clearing of the stew broth. Carefully stir stew all together and let it simmer for about 5 minutes so that the broth may thicken a bit.

Beautiful! And it smells SO good too!

Serve with warm crusty bread

...and ENJOY this filling, tender, warming GOODNESS!

Alterations: You can use... 
  • Pearl onions instead of sliced onions
  • Peas instead of green beans
  • Mushrooms as an additional veggie
  • Whatever else you like! -Comment below to share your ideas :)


  1. I just want to grab a fork and dig in.


  2. thanks for sharing this recipe and the pictures which really makes it look easy! I will try it soon!