Boeuf bourguignon is a traditional French peasant dish, but it seems quite luxurious to me, in both flavor and nutrients. On top of this, it is surprisingly easy and relatively inexpensive to make (if you don’t count the dry red wine). And, like many good things, it takes some time to prepare and cook.
I’m lucky enough to have a friend who is not only French, but also loves to cook and share her recipes. Armelle was kind enough to share her version of boeuf bourguignon. Thanks, Armelle!
Traditionally this dish is made in one pot, and cooks for about 6 to 8 hours. Armelle has managed to get this down to 3 to 4 hours, with no loss of quality – and possibly even richer flavors by roasting the vegetables.
I’ve made it two ways, and both are outstanding – roasting the vegetables separately and putting all the vegetables in the pot at the start. So it’s up to you. I did modify a few things, such as not coating the beef in flour before browning it, and substituting some beef broth for wine when I didn’t have an entire bottle of dry red wine to spare.
Tips Very dry wine and champagne contain very little sugar, which is why you will not get a headache when you drink them. And by the time you’re done cooking this dish, all of the alcohol will have evaporated.
A little trick in this recipe picture is that the “mashed potatoes” is actually steamed, mashed cauliflower.
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
- salt & pepper
- about 3 pounds of boneless chuck or other stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes (I use less meat – about 2 pounds of beef – and add more vegetables)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 3 medium carrots, sliced into coins
- 1 bottle of dry red wine (or 1/2 bottle of wine and about 1 3/4 cups of beef or vegetable stock)
- about 1 pound of crimini mushrooms
- 8 ounces of frozen pearl onions
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- In a frying pan on medium heat, cook the bacon slices until they start to brown. Set them aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Salt and pepper the beef and then add it in small batches in the frying pan on medium heat, just until all the sides are lightly browned. By doing this in small batches you prevent the meat from sweating, so less moisture develops in the pan and the meat is seared instead of boiled.
- Put the browned beef aside and pour about 1/3 cup of water into the pan and bring it to a boil. Cook until all the brown bits are loosened and the liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons (about 3 minutes).
- Add the garlic, and onion, and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- In a large stockpot or saucepan, add the meat, wine, garlic & onion mixture, carrots, bacon, meat & juices, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover.
- Now, here’s where you can diverge. You can roast the pearl onions and the mushrooms (tossed in olive oil and salt & pepper) in an oven for about 40 minutes at 425 degrees F. Or, you can just add them to the simmering pot. The roasted vegetables do add more flavor, but either way works.
- If you’ve roasted the vegetables, when they’re done, just add them to the simmering pot. Total simmer time is 3 to 4 hours.
- Serve with mashed cauliflower.