One of the Most Delicious Beef Stews Concocted by Man: Now’s a Good Time for Boeuf Bourguignon

Beef bourguignon originated in the region of Burgundy, France, and quickly became a classic Sunday dinner dish worldwide. It’s something that we love serving during weekly meals or for special get-togethers here at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen. My favorite recipe is Julia Childs’ way. I’ve shared the setup with you below, so I hope you enjoy it!

The pieces of beef are braised in a red wine casserole with a topping made of onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, bacon and a bouquet garni. It sounds simple and it really is when you stop and think about it. When serving – in principle – wine from the Burgundy region should be trusted to accentuate the flavors. The quality of the dish depends essentially on the meat and wine.

What you might not know about the history of boeuf bourguignon is that it’s based on traditional Flemish stew. The dukes of Burgundy borrowed the recipe during their occupation of Flanders. At the time of its creation, wine was more readily available in Burgundy than beer. So, they took what they stole and made a deliciously Burgundian dish that survives to this day.

Imagine what the world’s recipes would be like if we didn’t borrow liberally from other cultures and regions. It would be a plain, flavorless world indeed!

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

INGREDIENTS

  • 6-ounce chunk of bacon cut into 1/4 in thick pieces
  • 2-21/2 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 2 Tb flour
  • 3 cups of red wine
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Braised Onions

  • 18-24 small white onions
  • 1/4 cup stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil

Sautéed Mushrooms

  • 1 lb. mushrooms quartered
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut bacon into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in water. Drain and pat dry. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large casserole pot, sauté bacon in olive oil on moderate heat for about 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. When ready, reserve bacon to a side dish.
  3. Pat dry the cubed beef with paper towels and brown in olive oil in the same pot. Brown on all sides. Only do one layer at a time, so don’t overcrowd the pot. Reserve meat to a plate when done.
  4. In the same pot, add the carrots and sliced onions and sauté until lightly browned. About 5 minutes.
  5. Return the beef and bacon to casserole pot and add salt and pepper, toss to coat. Sprinkle 2 Tb flour and toss to coat the beef all together. Next, place casserole uncovered in middle rack of oven for 4 minutes. Then toss the meat and return to oven for another 4 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and turn down to 350 degrees.
  6. Stir 2-3 cups of red wine and enough beef stock to barely cover meat. Add tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer on the stove top then cover and place back in oven for 2-21/2 hours or until meat is tender.
  7. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
  8. For the onions, allow the butter and oil to bubble in a skillet and add the onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes on moderate heat so they begin to brown. Add stock, wine and herb bouquet and slowly cook for 40-50 minutes until onions are tender and liquid has evaporated.
  9. For the mushrooms, in a separate skillet sauté mushrooms in oil and butter until lightly browned.
  10. When the meat is tender, use a slotted spoon and remove all the meat and vegetables leaving just the liquid in the pot. On the stove-top turn heat on high and reduce sauce. Once reduced add back meat, vegetables and braised onions and mushrooms.
  11. Serve with boiled potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley.

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