Dive into a savory and hearty dish that’s full of flavor and will quickly become a staple in your recipe repertoire. Beef Bourguignon is a traditional, French dish that combines slowly simmered beef in a delicious tomato and red wine-based sauce. With fall-apart beef, crispy bacon, and tender vegetables, this delicious dish is the perfect Sunday dinner companion.
Although it may appear like a strenuous recipe, Beef Bourguignon only requires a few minutes of preparation. The key is the 3 to 4 hour simmer where all the flavors meld and beef becomes tender. The beauty of a low and slow simmer is that it can be left on the stove while you go about your day.
There are variations of this recipe available but we found that the tried-and-true original lies within Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia Child’s recipe features the traditional ingredients of a rich and savory Beef Bourguignon, but you are always able to alter any of the ingredients to suit your preferred palate.
A Few Key Ingredients:
Bacon – A crispy and flavorful addition that simply cannot be excluded.
Red Wine – We recommend a full-bodied wine for this recipe.
Fresh Thyme – A notable fresh herb that brings a unique flavor.
As you prepare to serve your Beef Bourguignon, we encourage you to pair this rich dish with a starchy side to really balance the bold flavors. Our favorite way to serve Beef Bourguignon is over wide egg noodles or even garlic mashed potatoes for a perfectly cozy and comforting dish. Top with sautéed pearl onions and mushrooms and you’ll have yourself a winner.
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
6 ounces bacon, cut into ½ inch lardons
1 tb olive oil
3 lbs lean stewing beef (like Chuck Steak) cut into 2 inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tbs flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 ½ to 3 ½ cups brown beef stock
1 tb tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ tsp fresh thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
Wide egg noodles (or mashed potatoes)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sauté bacon lardons in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a flameproof enameled pot over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
Dry beef in paper towels – it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in pot until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon lardons.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
Then, sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set pot uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust). Remove pot and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in wine and 2-3 cups of stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
Cover the casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3-4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
Wash out the pot and return the beef and lardons to it.
Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
Pour sauce over meat and vegetables in pot. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Top with sautéed pearl onions and mushrooms if preferred and serve with buttered noodles or garlic mashed potatoes.