Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beef Bourguignon or Fancy French Beef Stew

I'd heard of beef bourguignon, but I never tried to cook it.   I looked up several different recipes and found myself in a very confused state.  Some said cook for 1 1/2 hours in a 250 degree oven; others said cook 4 hours in a 400 degree oven.  What gives?   So, I decided to combine my newly found knowledge with a little creativity and do something kind of inbetween.  Here's what I came up with, editing a few things from my trial (and error).

2 T olive oil
6 slices center cut, thick sliced bacon, cut up into small pieces
2 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt/pepper to taste
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrots, sliced at an angle
1 bottle dry red wine (yes, a whole bottle; I used a cheaper pinot noir)
2 T thyme
2 bay leaves
1-2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 can tomato paste
1 box beef broth
1/2 pound baby bella or white mushrooms
1 bag frozen pearl onions
3 T butter
1 T flour
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Mashed Potatoes:  I'm not a mashed potato expert, so you can use your favorite method.  Due to our dairy free needs, I used 1/2 cup beef broth in lieu of milk or cream and 1/4 cup vegan butter substitute to mash up 8 boiled yukon gold potatoes.

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven on top of stove. Cook bacon pieces in oil until crisp.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon and let cool on paper towels to absorb excess fat. Then place bacon pieces into large bowl and set aside.  

Pat the cubed beef dry with paper towel and sprinkle salt and pepper generously over meat.  Add half the amount of cubed beef to pot to sear, being sure to not crowd the pan and allow for each side of the beef cubes to fully brown.  

Remove beef from pot and add to bacon pieces.  Repeat with remainder of beef, adding another tablespoon of olive oil to pan if there isn't enough fat remaining.  Remove all beef from pot and reserve in bowl with the bacon.

Add sliced onion, garlic and carrots to pot, mixing to allow meat and fat juices to blend with the vegetables. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onion begins to soften and brown just slightly.  

Return meat to the pot, stirring all together.  Add thyme, bay leaves and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Add bottle of wine to the pot and enough of the beef broth to cover all the meat.  You will use approximately half of a box of broth or about 1 cup. 

Place entire Dutch oven pot into a 350 degree oven.  Cook for 2 hours or until beef is easily pierced with a fork. 

About 30 minutes before beef dish is ready to remove from the oven, slice mushrooms, removing stems and saute in 1 T butter.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pan, add remaining 2 T butter and flour, blending to make a thick base.  

Remove beef mixture from oven and place it back onto the stove (if you had to transfer to another dish that doesn't work on the stove, you'll have to transfer it back into the stock pot).  Add tomato paste, flour/butter mixture and pearl onions.  Heat to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  Add a little beef broth as needed it gets too thick.

Serve over mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley.

Serves 6

Pair with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere or Malbec.

Dietary considerations:
Gluten free- Use corn starch or a gluten free flour. Also, be sure to check the ingredients on your beef broth.
Dairy free- use non-dairy butter substitutes


  1. Cindy this sounds good but I think it is a very complicated method. Why not use a pressure cooker?

  2. If I had a pressure cooker, I'd be happy to try that method! If anyone tries that, please let me know. I may just have to invest in one. Thanks for the idea.