Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child called it “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”  It was the centerpiece in the movie “Julie & Julia” and Chris Kimball moaned in ecstasy as he ate it on the air in ATK.  Undaunted by the 11 cooking time, Bouef Borguignon is the recipe I most wanted to make in 2010.         

Problems.        

  1. At 6:30 this morning, I realized that I accidentally bought “Maple Flavored Bacon.”  Who on earth would eat maple-flavored bacon?  (I checked the ingredients and there’s no real maple syrup in there).  Oh well, I had to use it because my other bacon was frozen :(
  2. Chris Kimball goes to great lengths to describe how your beef chunks must be 1-1/2 inch cubes. Julia Child goes even further and says to use 2 inch cubes. So how am I going to follow ATK’s advice “to save time, use precut meat (labeled “chuck”)?  Those little 3/4 inch precut pieces were sure to disintegrate during the 9 hours of cooking.  Solution: I didn’t save time. I cut up my own chuck roast. The good news was it was on sale for $2/lb.
  3. Chris Kimball told me to use frozen pearl onions (and to add sugar) so that they’d be ready in 5 minutes. Sorry Chris. No way.  I bought fresh boiler onions and deeply carmelized them for 50 minutes (following Julia Child’s method). No sugar needed!

Recipe Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $25 for 6 to 8 servings. $9 for beef and $9 for wine.
How much work? lots.
How big of a mess?  Huge mess.
Start time 6:30 AM. Dinner time 5:30pm.   Yes, 11 hours in the making.        

Beef Burgundy

A hearty beef stew in red wine, with bacon, onion and mushroom.

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9 Responses to Boeuf Bourguignon

  1. Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

    Serve with boiled russet or eastern potatoes (the traditional accompaniment), mashed potatoes, or buttered egg noodles.

    8 ounces bacon , chopped
    4 pounds beef stew meat (preferably chuck) in 1 ½” cubes.
    1 large onion, chopped fine
    2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
    8 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
    4 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
    1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    3 bay leaves
    3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
    3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
    20 fresh boiler or pearl onions
    10 oz white mushrooms, quartered

    • Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and refrigerate. Pour half of bacon fat into small bowl; set skillet with remaining bacon fat aside.
    • Dry beef thoroughly with paper towels. Season beef with salt and pepper; place half of beef in slow cooker insert. Heat skillet containing remaining bacon fat over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook remaining beef in single layer until deep brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer browned beef to slow cooker insert.
    • Add reserved bacon fat to now-empty skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir until beginning to brown, about 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to slow cooker insert.
    • Return now-empty skillet to high heat and add 1 1/2 cups wine, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Simmer, scraping up brown bits, until pan bottom is clean, about 1 minute. Transfer wine mixture to slow cooker insert.
    • Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow cooker insert. Set slow cooker on low, cover, and cook until meat is fork-tender, about 9 hours.
    • With an hour left in the slow-cooker, begin preparing the onions and mushrooms. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and one tablespoon of oil in 12” skillet. Sauté onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, rolling the onions so they brown evenly. Pour in 1/2 cup beef stock and 1 teaspoon thyme. Cover and simmer over load heat for 40 minutes. Add onions to slow cooker.
    • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and one tablespoon of oil in 12” skillet. Sauté mushrooms over medium heat for 10 minutes,
    • When ready to serve, discard bay leaves and stir in reserved bacon. Bring remaining 1 cup wine to boil in large skillet over high heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir reduced wine and parsley into stew and adjust seasonings. Serve.
    • Serves 6 to 8. Preparation time is 10 hours.

  2. Elena says:

    I guess I missed out on this one…who knows when you’ll be up for the challenge of cooking for 11 hrs. again… OH well.

  3. Laurie says:

    One of my goals for 2010 is also to make this dish. I will be making Julia’s recipe. I was inspired by the movie and have most of Julia’s cookbooks.
    Your’s looks awesome!

    • You’re freinds and family won’t be disappointed. I will definately try Julia’s recipe too this year, but my Dutch Oven lid is not ovenproof yet. Need to replace the plastic knob with a stainless steel one.

      • Franca says:

        I have heard about dutch ovens with plastic knobs which is such a bizarre idea to me! I don’t know why anyone would manufacture a dutch oven that way. Definitely replace your knob ASAP. LOL! Both of my dutch ovens (the enameled one and the plain cast iron one) have proper molded iron handles.

        I love, love, love this Boeuf Bourgignon recipe. I have not made it in a dutch oven yet; it’s been so good in the slow cooker I haven’t wanted to mess with success. :)

      • Cindy says:

        My dutch oven is about 25 years old and made by Farberware (when their products were better quality, in my opinion). The knob on the top of the lid, as well as the handles on the pot are black and appear to be made of some kind of “plastic” – but are totally fine in the oven — I’ve even had it in the oven at high temps. My guess is if your pot is truly a dutch oven that it should be ok for the oven. Although when I think of plastic on cookware, I have seen frying pans with handles that are not oven proof. Maybe try sticking a match to it to see if it melts.

  4. [...] dinner yet. (previous most expensive was $29).  The closes stew I can compare it to is the famous Boeuf Bourguignon I made last January, which I gave a wholehearted 5-stars. I like this recipe equally; the olives [...]

  5. Donna says:

    That looks yummy.

  6. Ann says:

    Hi there!

    I make this recipe regularly and love it! Couple tips to make things easier and cheaper:

    1. Next time you make some bacon, save the bacon fat in a jar, store it in the fridge, and use it for this recipe — that will save you the step of bacon frying not to mention the lingering smell of bacon in your kitchen. The downside is you miss adding the bacon crumbles as a garnish, but that’s a fine trade off in my mind

    2. Get some three buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s. They actually carry Pinot Noir. It’s tastes just as good and saves you some cash.

    3. I get a 5lb chuck roast from Costco, cube it, divide the portion in half, and put it in two freezer bags. When I feel like beef bourguignon, I pull out one of the bags and make the recipe. I find that 2.5 pounds of meat is plenty for my family of four with lots of leftovers.

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